The Outstater

August 19, 2021

THE GOVERNOR, following form, has created a new state health commission with former state senator Luke Kenley as its chairman.

Because that’s what we need right now, isn’t it? Another layer of bureaucracy, this one wielding gubernatorial power over what medicine we can have and when we can have it.

Its mandate is unlimited, according to a commission member. The definition of “health” will include the behavior and environment of the public and such issues as lack of secure housing, work and education. The governor promises that his new commission will not merely brainstorm but will make changes — rule, in other words.

And Kenley is just the man for the job, the perfect model of an Indiana Republican, an Eagle Scout-type of fellow, a businessman who fell in love with politics, an Army officer, a graduate of an Ivy League law school and someone who as health commissioner should scare you to death.

For if you own or frequent a small business know that Kenley’s legislative record reads like a resume for the administrative state. There have been few consolidations of Statehouse power or plans for regulatory over management that he has effectively opposed (as long as Republicans friends were in charge). The press release boasts that Kenley “has spent decades managing complex issues and budgets for the state.”

Oh, that’s comforting. This is the guy who as chairman of the powerful committee on tax and fiscal policy blocked the elimination of the family-farm-killing inheritance tax until he could be assured that the lost revenue would be made up: “I can’t see how we are going to replace the dollars.”

Did you get that? Kenley believed the money was his before it was yours. Now he’s going to help figure out how to control your health. 

What could go wrong? — tcl


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