(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is asking the candidates to replace him what they will do in regards to healthcare.
Indiana must decide by September 30 on a Medicaid expansion and other programs as part of the federal Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
On Thursday, Daniels sent a letter to gubernatorial candidates Democart John Gregg, Republican Mike Pence, and Libertarian Rupert Boneham asking their plans on the insurance exchange and more. The three will appear on the statewide ballot November 6.
Daniels, who himself has voiced displeasure with the federal healthcare reform, said he would like to see an agreement among the candidates about what decision to make in regards to the health benefits.
“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,” 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.
Pence issued a statement later Thursday saying that he will prepare a response in coming days, although he is not all that warm to the idea of Obamacare.
"ObamaCare will stifle Indiana's economic recovery and it must be repealed. The medical device tax has already cost Hoosier jobs, and if ObamaCare is not repealed in full, Hoosiers will face higher health care costs and increased taxes,” Pence said. “Any action Indiana takes must include careful consideration of the long-term costs to both Hoosier taxpayers and the state.”
Neither Gregg nor Boneham’s campaigns issued immediate public responses to the governor’s request.
According to the governor’s office, 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.