U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd—whose district includes Pine and Jackson
townships—supports health-care reform but not the current Senate version of
In a statement released today, Donnelly said that he would vote against the
Senate’s health-care reform bill because its passage was greased by
sweetheart deals granted to certain senators and because it provides no
guarantee that federal funds wouldn’t be used to pay for abortions.
The statement in full:
“I support health insurance reform because we need to level the playing
field between Hoosier families and insurance companies,” said Donnelly said.
“We have recently proven that we can come together in a bipartisan way to
pass common-sense measures to reform the health insurance industry. For
example, over 400 Democrats and Republicans in the House voted to pass
legislation in February that would remove the anti-trust exemption for the
health insurance industry. This long-overdue reform would increase
competition to bring down costs for consumers. We can agree on many things,
and it is my hope that we will pass other common-sense reforms such as
preventing insurance companies from denying folks coverage because of a
preexisting condition and enabling businesses and individuals to purchase
health insurance across state lines.
“But if I’m asked to vote on the Senate health care reform bill as is, I
will vote no. The process over the past few months has been frustrating,
including the cutting of unacceptable special deals to assure a few
senators’ votes. Also, the Senate version of health care reform does not
meet my standards for assuring that no federal funds are used for
“The way this debate has dragged on for months has caused many in Washington
to lose sight of the most important issue to me and the folks back home:
jobs. This is my primary focus and I will continue to push for smart
investments in our national, state, and local economies to make sure our
Hoosier businesses have the tools they need to get our friends and neighbors
back to work.”
In November 2009 Donnelly voted in favor of the House’s version of health
care reform, in the form of the Affordable Health Care for America Act. At
the time he noted that the “legislation is not perfect,” that he was
“working hard to make it better,” and that it wouldn’t become law until
merged with the Senate’s version.
The House bill passed by a slim margin, 220-215, and Donnelly’s announcement
that he would vote against the Senate bill—accompanied by indications that
several other House members would change their votes as well—could put
health-care reform in jeopardy.
Donnelly joins majority to defeat move to withdraw troops from Afghanistan