Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Democrat Donnelly says he would vote against current Senate health care bill

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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 it.

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 abortion-related services.

“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

U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd—whose district includes Pine and Jackson townships in Duneland—released the following statement after joining a majority in the House to defeat a resolution introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich calling for the president to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan within 30 days.

“I recently visited our troops in Afghanistan, and we’re making progress,” said Donnelly. “Our marines and soldiers are in the middle of a major campaign against Taliban strongholds now and we have seen some important apprehensions of Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. We will not be in Afghanistan forever, and I know that the fight is not easy and not without a price. But I strongly disagree with Rep. Kucinich’s call to remove all our forces right now. It’s the wrong call for our efforts to combat terrorism and to establish some stability in Afghanistan.”


Posted 3/11/2010




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