Daniels Says Health Care Law Will Cause Soaring Premiums

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels issued this statement in response to today's U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the federal health care law:

“The immediate implications for Indiana are a huge increase in health insurance rates, especially for young people, and the need to decide whether to try to construct a so-called “exchange” or let the federal government do so.

The Court’s ruling that the federal government has the constitutional power to do what it has done must be respected. But many actions that are constitutional are still unwise. The now undisputed facts that this federal takeover of one-fifth of our economy will worsen deficits, increase the national debt, raise health care costs, and force Americans off insurance coverage they have chosen, still argues for repeal of a dangerously misguided law and its replacement by major reforms based on individual freedom and consumerism.”

Over the coming months, Indiana will consider these issues:

 

  • Decide if the state will operate a health insurance exchange, leave its operation to the federal government or form a federal-state partnership. Though the governor’s term ends in early 2013, a decision must be made by November 16. 

 

Operation of a state-based exchange could cost $50 million to $65 million in the first several years of operation.

 

Indiana has taken steps to research the potential implications of health insurance exchanges, but absolutely no decision has been made to establish a state-based exchange. Before a decision can be made, the state needs more information about how a federally-based exchange will operate and be funded.

 

  • Premium rates for Indiana’s individual insurance market are estimated to increase an average of 75 percent to 95 percent beginning in 2014. For example, according to a report prepared for the state by the actuarial firm Milliman, young healthy males can expect to experience premium increases between 100 percent and 250 percent of their current rate; some women over 55 years old can expect a 100 percent increase in premium rates.

 

  •  A Medicaid expansion would put 1 in 4 Hoosiers (approximately 500,000 new enrollees) in Medicaid at a cost of approximately $2 billion over 10 years. The future of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) is uncertain until the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responds to the state’s HIP waiver request. Any decision to expand Medicaid in 2014 is entirely the province of the next General Assembly and governor.

Rick Howlett

Rick Howlett is WFPL's Broadcast Managing Editor and also produces feature and general assignment radio stories.

@rickhowlett

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