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Indiana's Mitch Daniels: Youth to inherit mountain of debt

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Obamacare,Indiana

Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels on Wednesday assailed federal policy on health care, charging that Obamacare is boosting health insurance premiums for America's youth unfairly high.

Now the president of Indiana's Purdue University, the two-term former governor and former federal budget chief said Washington's meandering on several fronts and its unwillingness to cut the federal debt have put nation on a crash course.

“We are in way too deep, way too deep,” Daniels said at a media breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, the newspaper's 3,800th since they began in 1966.

The always diplomatic Daniels did not pass judgement on the merits of Obamacare, but said the plans offered under President Obama’s namesake initiative are charging younger Americans far too much in order to keep premiums low for older Americans.

“This generation has a right to be upset with its elders as any in history. They are going to inherit a mountain of debt and we keep taking steps to make it worse,” warned Daniels.

Turning to Obamacare, he said it “soaks the young to benefit their elders. Premiums for young people will go up way beyond what is actuarially fair and accurate in order to subsidize their elders. You can say, ‘Well, that’s just the way it should be,’ but if you’re a young person today, I don’t think they’ve quite focused on this, but when they do what they're going to say is, ‘We got ripped — handed a really raw deal here.' ”

He also hit Washington’s failure to adopt a national energy policy, even as the country’s energy development has exploded to the point that there is enough left over to export.

Daniels said that encouraging more development would help the “yet to haves” with affordable energy and lead to new revenues. He was especially critical of the administration’s failure to approve the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada to Louisiana.

“National policy in a country that needs growth and has that [energy development] going on should be 100 percent for it, and we can’t even build the Keystone pipeline? A country that can’t build that pipeline today is not serious about helping poor people or preserving a middle class,” said Daniels.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.