The U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to vote later this week on health reform legislation. Although a few modifications have been made by President Obama, the enormous costs and impact to Hoosier taxpayers have not changed. Governor Daniels has sent a letter to Indiana members of Congress to urge them to reject the bill. The letter reads:
"A few months ago I expressed the view that the health care bills then pending before Congress were hopelessly misguided, unaffordable, and dangerously adverse to the interests of Hoosiers today and tomorrow. I have hoped that these schemes would be modified and improved given their clear defects and the public's quite sensible rejection of them. Instead, they have become, if anything, even worse.
Again I ask your leadership in preventing this disastrous national mistake. You will soon be presented with the most anti-jobs, anti-taxpayer, anti-Indiana measure you may ever see in your Congressional career, and I hope you will represent us well by voting against it."
The governor also shared an Indiana impact statement with the House members. Here is a copy:
* Through a massive expansion of Medicaid, half a million (500,000) new Hoosiers would become eligible, costing Hoosier taxpayers billions more in state taxes. One in four Hoosiers would be on public assistance.
* Without a costly increase in the Medicaid provider reimbursement rates, there will not be enough health care professionals to care for this huge new influx of Medicaid patients.
* The Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) would be eliminated as the new federal rules would force the 45,000 families who are currently covered into the Medicaid fee-for-service delivery model, losing the cost saving and quality advantages of consumer-driven health care.
* Many Hoosiers who currently have health insurance will pay higher premiums - the Congressional Budget Office estimates an average increase nationally of $2,100 for some families, and a study of the effects in Indiana showed premium increases ranging up to 78 percent. Premiums will continue to rise because the drivers of rising costs in the health care system are exacerbated rather than controlled by the legislation.
* A growing and job-creating life sciences sector in Indiana will be hit with huge new tax increases: at least $20 billion for the device manufacturers and $90 billion for pharmaceutical companies. These costs will be passed to consumers and will result in job losses in Indiana.
* A job killing tax of $2,000 per employee will be levied on many companies which cannot afford or choose not to provide coverage to their employees, including Indiana.
* The costs for this massive entitlement expansion are vastly and misleadingly understated: An honest estimate would show an addition of more than a trillion dollars to the national debt.