Daniels takes aim at health care
February 7th, 2011
09:36 AM ET
3 years ago

Daniels takes aim at health care

Washington (CNN) - Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a potential presidential candidate, is taking to the pages of the Wall Street Journal Monday to zero in on the healthcare law, one of the signature fiscal issues that wrangle the GOP rank-and-file and Republican leaders alike.

Daniels, a favorite for president among some members of the GOP because of his no-nonsense style, economic credentials and record of cutting spending in Indiana, writes the new law is a "massive mistake" that could decimate state budgets.

"For state governments, the bill presents huge new costs, as we are required," writes Daniels, the former budget director under President Bush. "In Indiana, our independent actuaries have pegged the price to state taxpayers at $2.6 billion to $3 billion over the next 10 years. This is a huge burden for our state, and yet another incremental expenditure the law's authors declined to account for truthfully."

Daniels says he hopes courts will ultimately repeal the law, but added that absent a repeal states must be permitted certain concessions, like flexibility to determine which insurers can participate in the market and the ability to waive the mandate that requires some individuals to buy expensive benefits they may not need. Daniels also wants the states to be reimbursed for the "administrative burden" of implementing the plan. He says he has written a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to outline his requests.

"The system we are proposing requires Washington to abandon most of the command-and-control aspects of the law as written," Daniel's writes. "It steers away from nanny-state paternalism by assuming, recognizing and reinforcing the dignity of all our citizens and their right to make health care's highly personal decisions for themselves."

The op-ed is Daniel's latest foray on the national stage as he mulls a presidential bid. Later this week, the Indiana Republican will appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a high profile gathering of conservatives that has become a regular stop for potential presidential candidates.

But Daniels introduction to the national stage hasn't been without its speed bumps. Last week he again angered social conservatives when he suggested – for the second time – that issues like abortion and gay marriage should take a back seat this election season in favor of economic concerns. That prompted fire from fellow potential candidate Rick Santorum that Daniels "doesn't understand conservatism."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitch Daniels
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. KatR

    According to the brief filed by a federal judge in Florida the economic load on states due to HCR is not coericion but rather a choice. If they want federal monies for state health programs, etc then they will have to abide by the new law in order to get those funds. By the way....this same judge ruled that because the individual citizen mandate was unconstitutional that the whole law was the same. But the same judge ruled that the plantiff arguments regarding state participation in the plan IS constiutional. More fear-mongering by hopeful presidential candidates does nothing to help solve the problem. Especially, when they offer no alternatives.

    February 7, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Daniel's is Just Another Whining Republican !

    Who care's about what he thinks ? Nobody ! I am growing tired of these republican hack's trying to get two second's of a spotlight to spew their nonsense ! How about this Daniel's , why don't you talk to your GOP brethren in congress and tell them to come up with a better solution ! Nobody want's to hear you or your peer's complain anymore ! GOP if you can't provide a solution that can accomplish the same good thing's that the Health care Law does , then get out of the way and shut up !

    February 7, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. Jim

    Guess what, dude? Right now, you get to make about 50% of the decisions, the other 50% are made by your insurance companies. The ones you should care about are completely out of your hands. Pre-existing condition? Coverage declined. New condition which can remotely be tied to pre-existing condition? Declined. Need surgery to save your life? Be prepared to pay for it yourself because some panel working for the Insurer doesn't think you are a viable candidate. But hey, the status-quo works great.

    February 7, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. Gaylon Barrow

    Obama does not have enough sense to realize this. To him it's spend, spend, spend. I noticed in his O'Reilly interview on the Super Bowl SUnday. He stated that it would be great when all people could afford insurance. Yes it would. But, he did not mention that anyone making less than $25,000 per year was on the taxpayers. Illegals or what. Their needs will be paid for by us. This is all in his game to get the Border jumpers and the porch sitters insurance for free. For one I am tired of paying for lazy drunks and dopeheads.

    February 7, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Jilli

    Typical. I hear a lot of complaints, but no offer of solutions. We've heard this song and dance before, that stagnation is what is leading to other countries passing us by.

    Come back when you've got answers Mr. Daniels and not just complaints. Complaining is easy, finding solutions is the tough part.

    February 7, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    Every governor, whether they are GOP or Dem, makes the same mistake when they run: they fail to understand they will be representing the Federal Govt's side. If Daniels gets elected, does he honestly expect the federal government to assume responsibility for everything in defiance of all conservative expectaions, or will he shift it to the states? Most likely it would be shifted to the states, like every GOP adminstration si nce Reagan; either way, we will get stuck with the bill. At least with Obama, we are paying for it with fewer smoke and mirrors than with the previous administration that paid for wars off budget and cut taxes in wartime for the first time in history, 2 things which defy logic.

    February 7, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Sam Sixpack

    It is hard to imagine how any civil liberties could remain under a government that dictates how and when individuals will spend their money. Would your sole remaining right be to do what you are told? Maybe that would be a good thing, however, it wouldn't look much like freedom.

    My son is on Medicaid. In our area, the government has set up a big non-profit umbrella organization to provide Medicaid health care. Unfortunately, the one size fits all solution for my son's condition doesn't fit. So, we pay cash to visit a doctor who prescribes the medications my son actually needs.

    Now, instead of a life expectancy of 55 years (the government plan), he is a full-time college student with a very real potential to become self-supporting and outlive me.

    I know, I know, Medicaid can't pay for exotic treatments. Well, the treatment the government offers costs twice as much as his private treatment. Go figure. BTW, the Big Wheels at the umbrella organization KEEP the Medicaid money. I’m so glad they get to have their nice houses and cars.

    Anyway, if you do actually get your dreamy Obamacare, you will then get to tell your own horror story about paying all you can afford for medical treatment you will never receive.

    It isn't just Republicans who know how to lie. Obamacare is just another lie.

    February 7, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. gar

    The Republicans want Americans' highly personal health care decisions to be decided by the health insurance industry's death panels.

    February 7, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Stewart

    If he thinks that the health care bill will hurt the states (which it doesn't), then they can opt out of it. The bill alows for states to opt out if htey can produce their own system that meets certain coverage standards.

    So many of the federal programs I hear republicans complain about are actually opt-in or opt-out programs the federal government designs, provides, and in many cases operates for them at their own discretion. IF you don't like medicaid, if you don't like social security, if you don't like the health care bill, your state can opt out of them. All of them.

    February 7, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. T'sah from Virginia

    ["...pegged the price to state taxpayers at $2.6 billion to $3 billion over the next 10 years..."]

    QUESTION: How much would you spend on people who are NOT insured over the next 10 years????

    February 7, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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