News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 8, 2012

FLASHPOINT: Court decision places even more importance on election


The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Obama Administration’s health care mandate is a disappointing setback and makes clear the importance of this fall’s national elections. The decision will trigger a spirited and necessary debate, which should result in a complete repeal by a new Congress.

This decision leaves intact a policy that will continue to damage our economy, consumers and the health care system, until and unless we can elect a new president and Congress and repeal and replace it with sound policy. The Affordable Care Act represents a real and growing threat to our economy, will not stop runaway health care inflation, and stands in the way of critical market-based reform.

For example, the punitive excise tax on medical devices is already costing Indiana and the nation jobs and is expected to result in further layoffs. Its arbitrary attack on an industry critical to Indiana is also driving advanced manufacturing to foreign soil, denying Hoosiers and other Americans high- paying jobs.

The board of bureaucrats created by the law and known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (“IPAB”) survives, ready to pick winners and losers, as if from the scene of a George Orwell novel. Unfortunately, as a member of Congress, my U.S. Senate opponent, Rep. Joe Donnelly, voted in favor of the Obama health care bill and against a specific amendment to eliminate this unelected board.

And, the heavy-handed mandate that requires employers to provide insurance will continue to drive individuals out of private insurance and onto government programs. A report by Deloitte estimated that up to 65 million Americans could lose their employer-sponsored health insurance because of the mandate.

Recent studies have shown that in 2011 the average cost of a family health insurance plan rose 9 percent, from a back-breaking $13,000 per year to over $15,000. This is simply unsustainable and unacceptable, and ObamaCare is making matters worse.

As quickly as we can elect and seat a president and Congress who are ready to act, we must replace the law with market-oriented insurance reforms designed to give consumers more choices, enact strong medical malpractice liability reform and make all health care expenses 100 percent tax deductible.

We should eliminate the unfunded expansion of Medicaid, which will only push states closer to insolvency and the short-sighted cuts to Medicare, and replace them with long-term, responsible entitlement reform that protects seniors and reinforces these programs for future generations.

Our economy faces enough challenges without the self-imposed weight of an ill-conceived, top-down government solution to health care issues. It’s time to move quickly to repeal the bill now and replace it with common sense, market-based insurance reform, competition and private sector innovation.

— Richard Mourdock

Republican candidate

U.S. Senate, Indiana