[r63] Messmer Report: Having a say in our choice of health care

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 11, 2012

Across the country, a topic that continues making headlines is President Obama’s federal health care overhaul. Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court is working to decide if the plan is constitutional. In fact, Indiana is one of 26 states involved in the lawsuit that deems it unconstitutional for the federal government to require all Americans to purchase health insurance.

In order to strengthen our stand against this mandate, this session the General Assembly passed legislation that added Indiana to the Health Care Compact (HCC) with multiple other states and would allow Indiana to remove itself from the federal government’s universal health care mandate.

The HCC is an interstate compact which is an agreement between two or more states that can be adopted as part of the law in each state with the consent of Congress. The HCC has to be approved by Congress before it can be implemented. Currently, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah have all joined the compact along with Indiana; and 11 other states are considering joining, as well.

Ultimately, the HCC would serve as an alternative to the federal universal health care law and would give Indiana the flexibility it needs to create a plan that is best for Hoosiers. Under Obamacare, states have very little flexibility in operating the state Medicaid program and the number of federal mandates relating to health care seems to be increasing at an alarming rate.

One of the most disturbing facts about the mandate is that it would cost U.S. taxpayers approximately $2.3 trillion to implement. The most recent estimate from Indiana officials is that it would cost Hoosiers between $2.6 and $3.1 billion from 2014 to 2020.

It is our hope that with the HCC we can potentially reduce the costs and the scope of the government, while also increasing government efficiency and flexibility. I am always in favor of Hoosiers being able to decide how and when to spend their hard-earned money. With the approval of the HCC, Indiana would be able to do just that and create a health care plan that is best for Hoosiers.

Indiana is home to some of the best physicians, medical experts and health care facilities, and I am confident that with their help we could create a superior health care plan for Indiana. I’m pleased we were able to take this step because Hoosiers deserve to have a say in how they receive their health care and how their money is spent.