Governor Mitch Daniels has asked the state's three gubernatorial candidates for input about decisions Indiana must make to implement the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the coming months.
In a letter, the governor asked Rupert Boneham, John Gregg, and Congressman Mike Pence to state their preferences about operating a state or federal health insurance exchange and establishing an essential health benefits package. States must make decisions about both this year.
"Because the costs and consequences of our decision in these two matters will be borne by the next administration, I do not believe it would be right for me to make these choices. Assuming the deadline for the essential health benefits decision remains September 30, 2012, we are seeking to determine whether there can be an agreement among the candidates about what to include," the governor said in the letter.
"Second, I am asking each of you to let me know as soon as possible your preference regarding a state v. federal exchange," he wrote. That preference will be relayed after November's election.
The state's actuary has estimated that an expansion of Medicaid in Indiana would cost about $2 billion between 2012 and 2020 and has projected the cost to operate a health care exchange between $50 million and $65 million per year to operate.
A copy of the letter may be found at this link: http://www.in.gov/gov/files/CandidateLetter.pdf