Indiana's US Senator Donnelly talks healthcare, jobs and the climate in Washington
The South Bend Democrat goes one-on-one with Candyce Clifft to talk about issues important to Hoosiers.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly from Indiana is working to get things done in Washington.
The Democrat from South Bend was on "WDRB in the Morning" to talk about jobs, healthcare and the atmosphere in the U.S. Capitol. He admits there is a divisive climate, but says he's among those working on issues. "You hear in the news about groups screaming on the left and a group screaming on the right. But in the Senate, there's a huge group of us in the middle who are working non-stop to work together."
Donnelly says one of his priorities is job creation and fighting outsourcing. He says he is working on legislation to help keep jobs from going to Mexico like Carrier was planning to do before President Donald Trump shined a spotlight on the issue.
Indiana, like many states, is in a battle against opioid and heroin. Donnelly says legislation has been passed to change prescribing practices. Now they are working to try to cut off the flow of heroin from Mexico and reduce opiates on the streets.
Senator Donnelly also says he wants answers from a pharmaceutical company making a life saving drug more expensive. Kaleo Pharmaceuticals makes an injector for the drug naloxone, but the company has raised its price for the overdose drug by $3,900 a dose.
"Our police, our fire, our EMTs, all of us have worked so hard to help these people try to get this turned around, and they raised the price from one day to the next from $600 to $4,500," Donnelly said. He accuses Kaleo Pharmaceuticals of profiting from people's heartache and pain, and threatens to bring the company president and CEO to Capitol Hill for a hearing.
Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul is promoting his plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act or so-called "Obamacare." Donnelly admits he doesn't have the answers yet. "I've said from the start I'm always happy if you have better ideas to make it cheaper, safer, easier to use." But he says "I'm not going to walk away from 400,000 Hoosiers who have care right now because of the Affordable Care Act."
Donnelly says the ACA has been good for many Hoosiers. "If you have diabetes, if you have multiple sclerosis, if you have a heart condition, if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a replacement in place, you lose coverage." He adds that if there is a plan that can cover everybody, he'd love to see it.
And Donnelly doesn't want to see President Trump's immigration order go too far. The Senator says the vetting process we have in place for people to enter the U.S. is already very strict and involves the State Department and Homeland security.
Donnelly says "we have really, really tough standards right now. We want to continue those standards to make sure that nobody who is a danger to our country can come in." But he adds, "at the same time, we don't want to have policy in place that discourages others from working together with us.
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