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KRUSE REPORT: Responding to the Affordable Care Act
Start Date: 12/3/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 12/3/2012End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

By State Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn)

As members of the General Assembly look toward the legislative session that begins in January, we are preparing to discuss several prominent issues that will impact all Hoosiers. Near the top of the list is the federal health-care mandate. Legislators are tasked with deciding how Indiana will respond to the law’s requirements.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – often referred to as “Obamacare” – contains dozens of changes to health care and taxation in the United States, many of which require decisions to be made by state governments. One such component is the law’s creation of “health insurance exchanges,” which serve as one-stop shops for consumers to compare and buy insurance plans.

By Dec. 14, each state must choose to either design and implement its own exchange, let the federal government manage its exchange or operate an exchange under a federal-state partnership. Whoever takes ownership has the authority to decide the criteria for insurance plans offered on the exchanges. These will take full effect in January 2014.

There are some who believe these exchanges will benefit health care in the U.S. overall. According to a study presented to the 2012 Indiana Family Impact Seminar, approximately 930,000 Hoosiers were uninsured in 2011. If fully implemented, ACA could increase insurance coverage and access to care for hundreds of thousands, some say. These proponents also argue the exchanges would lower insurance prices and improve care quality.

However, many also argue that ACA is too costly for states, no matter what option they choose. If Indiana runs its own health insurance exchange, it will maintain more control of its insurance market, but the governor’s office estimates it will cost Indiana taxpayers $50 million to $65 million in the first several years. This would lead to higher taxes or major spending cuts in other essential areas, some say.

On the other hand, allowing the federal government to manage some or all aspects of the exchange would save our state money, but it would also sacrifice our ability to control our own insurance market, opponents say. If many states allow the federal government to oversee their exchanges, it could potentially pose more financial problems for Washington because the ACA did not appropriate any money for this to happen.

It is clear “Obamacare” poses many challenges for everyone, regardless of personal support or opposition. Throughout the legislative session, the General Assembly will take a closer look at these potential obstacles and determine how to best respond. At the end of the day, our goal as lawmakers is to construct a solution that gives Hoosiers the best health care possible in a financially responsible way.

What do you think?

Contact Information:
Name: Tracy Lytwyn
Phone: 317-234-9221
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Family & Health
  • Agency Name
    Senate Republican Caucus

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