Pelath on Governor’s agenda: “Job training is a great idea, but we have to protect health insurance”

November 8, 2017 Scott Pelath

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City today issued the following statement after Gov. Eric Holcomb revealed his agenda for the 2018 session of the Indiana General Assembly:

“In broad principle, House Democrats share many of the same goals. We all believe in a top-notch workforce, more job training opportunities, and freeing Hoosiers of drug addiction. These concerns are nearly universal, and we look forward to working with the Governor to flesh out the details.

“It is imperative that Indiana strive for a healthy and well-trained workforce. Our workers are in demand of stronger wages, affordable health care, and better opportunities on the job. Leaders of both parties should embrace solutions regardless of who proposed them.

“Indiana House Democrats are committed to ordinary Hoosiers getting a fair shot in this economy. We have a long history of fighting for workers to get new job skills for themselves and their families. The Governor can expect that we will suggest improvements that will raise the earning ability of those who show up to work every day.

“What worries me, however, is what might happen to us rather than because of us. Job training becomes less fruitful when you are sick and broke. And it must be said that our national counterparts have been far from helpful on this front.

“How will our state respond as our President, Vice-President, and Congress continue their assault on affordable health insurance for Hoosiers? While the full-frontal attack has flopped thus far, the Trump-Pence administration continues to sneakily dismantle the Affordable Care Act piece by piece.

“Their schemes to hike insurance premiums, weaken coverage, and drive people away from health care are brazen and deliberate. And all done in service of a campaign slogan.

“The basic health care of more than 400,000 Hoosiers stands in the balance, and Hoosiers will not allow us to point fingers at a dysfunctional Washington forever.

“How are we going to respond if this bizarre crusade comes true? It makes perfect sense that we need to prepare for the worst rather than hope for the best.

“The Governor’s help is also needed to reform a system of governing that places a greater premium on preserving power than representing the public. We need him. A year ago, it seemed we were close to finally giving serious consideration to independent redistricting, only to see it disappear from the face of the earth, solely at the whim of one committee chairman.

“That is not the change that people voted for in the last election.

“Much of the Governor’s agenda is laudable. It will be untarnished if he can restrain his party in the Legislature from adding needless distractions that fundamentally improve the lives of no one. We stand ready to help.”