In November, Hoosier voters will go to the polls to decide who will be their next representative in the U.S. Senate.
Last month, Republican voters selected state treasurer Richard Mourdock, ousting six-term senator Richard Lugar. He’ll face off against Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in the fall.
Mourdock, making his rounds to media organizations around the state, visited the News and Tribune’s Jeffersonville office Tuesday, speaking with a reporter and editorial board representative. Here’s a bit of what was discussed:
“I believe the health care issue will be the biggest issue through the entire election cycle, not just for this race but for the presidential race as well,” Mourdock said.
“I believe campaigns ought to be about contrast and there are few issues that will show greater contrast between congressman Donnelly and me than this issue. Clearly, he believes in Obamacare, he voted for it, he’s continuing to defend it and I think it’s a horrible idea that’s not only going to result in really bad health care but it’s also really crushing the economy right now because of the expectation of the cost.”
He favors a plan that would allow health care to be bought across state lines, creating more competition. Further, he would like to see regulations changed in a way that allows businesses to pool together in purchasing health care insurance, which would spread the risk and reduce costs.
Mourdock believes the health care law will inflate costs and reduce health professionals’ efficiency; “instead of seeing 80 patients per day they’re only seeing 40,” he said.
Of particular interest to the candidate is a mandate that requires an employer to pay for certain services they may be morally opposed to — such as birth control — which Mourdock said he opposes.
But is that fair to the consumer, who may want their birth control covered?
Mourdock’s example was an employer who decided to cover everything but cancer.
“Does that employer have the right to do it? I would say yes they do if they want to keep their health care costs down but it also means it’s less likely you’re going to want to work here. If that employer wants to get the best employees coming in the door he’s going to offer the best insurance possible.”
So is there anything to like about Obamacare?
Mourdock concedes that he has heard support from people on the pre-existing condition coverage that the bill allows. Further, he said, health insurance companies are also embracing a provision in the law which allows parents to keep their children on their plans until they reach age 26.
“Those types of reforms are good ones that we need to continue to build on,” he said.
Donnelly points to the same two reforms as positive progress that came out of the bill.