Donnelly, Joe in officeWashington, D.C. — Monday, on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly continued his fight to protect seniors and hard-working Hoosier families from devastating cuts to Medicare or Medicaid, including HIP 2.0. Donnelly joined with Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) to introduce an amendment to protect Medicare from privatization and prevent changes to Medicaid that reduce state funding from cuts, as the Senate is beginning to debate repeal of the health care law. Donnelly spoke on the Senate floor, emphasizing he is willing to work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, to strengthen our health care system, however he will not support taking away health care with no alternative.


Donnelly said, in part in his speech, “This week, some of our colleagues are beginning the process of repealing the health care law. I want to be clear, I don’t think it’s a perfect law. In fact, I’ve long agreed with many of my colleagues in saying we have work to do, and for years we have put forward ideas on ways we can work together to improve it.


“Do no harm—that’s the basis of the Hirono-Donnelly amendment…The Hirono-Donnelly amendment makes it clear we will not privatize Medicare. The amendment protects Medicare both for the seniors who count on the program to age in dignity and for the tens of millions of Americans who are contributing to the program with the expectation that it will be there when they retire.


“Do no harm also means that we will protect insurance coverage for those who get their care through the Medicaid program, which after the passage of the health care law enabled millions of our friends and our neighbors to access affordable coverage for the first time.


“I know this is true because I worked with, and supported, our soon-to-be Vice President, Mike Pence, when he used Obamacare to establish a program we call the Healthy Indiana Plan or HIP 2.0. The innovative plan expanded health care coverage to over 200,000 of my neighbors in our beloved state and helped reduce the uninsured rate among Hoosiers by 30%. The HIP 2.0 program has been critical in our ongoing effort to provide treatment to those struggling with opioid abuse and heroin use in our state.


“…Instead of going forward with a plan that creates chaos by repealing the health care law with no alternative, we should work together to improve it. That’s just common sense. Most of all we should strive to do no harm—that should be our guiding principle here in the Senate and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle can demonstrate their commitment to this principle by supporting our amendment.”


To watch Donnelly’s speech in the Senate defending Medicare and HIP 2.0, click the image above or click HERE.