INDIANAPOLIS – John Gregg’s campaign is defending reports the Democratic gubernatorial candidate and his family have received more than $200,000 in taxpayer-funded health insurance benefits since leaving office.
A report and state documents first published on Indy Politics show Gregg and his family still receive coverage through a lifetime health benefit program the General Assembly enacted 2002, the same year Gregg left the legislature.
The program has since been repealed.
Records show the House of Representatives has paid $202,859.63 in health insurance benefits to Gregg and his family through the end of 2015 and anticipate paying $36,251.01 in 2016.
In a statement to FOX 59, Gregg’s communications director Jeff Harris said:
“By bringing something up that has been a part of the public record for 14 years and was discussed in the 2012 campaign, it’s clear that Mike Pence is continuing his desperate attempt to distract voters from his failures as governor. The facts are that John Gregg and Republicans in the state legislature passed bipartisan legislation to update the health insurance lawmakers received. When he retired after 16 years of service in 2002, he enrolled in the plan and paid premiums to do so. Unlike Mike Pence, who has been on taxpayer funded health care for much of his career but has done virtually nothing to help others, John Gregg has worked to bring quality, affordable health care to all Hoosiers and will continue to do so as Indiana’s next governor.”
Pence’s deputy campaign manager Marc Lotter also responded in a statement:
“John Gregg’s decision to provide himself and his family taxpayer-funded health insurance for life, while at the same time slashing education spending, cutting state services, and freezing the salaries of state employees, proves that he is no fiscal conservative. At a time when our state is seeking funding to expand Governor Pence’s Pre-K program and increase career and technical education in our schools, it is a shame that taxpayers have already paid $200,000 to date and an estimated $36,000 this year alone for lobbyist John Gregg’s health insurance.”