By Diana Lamirand
In one of the most contentious races on the ballot Nov. 6, voters will decide whether to return first-term incumbent Joe Donnelly (D), 63, to the U.S. Senate or elect challenger Mike Braun (R), 64, a businessman.
With attack ads from both sides filling the airwaves, voters often find it difficult to cut through the noise.
“It’s time for politicians to put voters first,” said AARP Indiana State Director Sarah Waddle. “Critical issues like Medicare, Social Security, prescription drug costs and our financial security are all on the line.” AARP asked Braun and Donnelly to share their views.
AARP is nonpartisan and does not recommend candidates, but urges all eligible voters to vote.
Braun: “Reducing wait times and improving service for beneficiaries are an absolute necessity. In my company people and service are my top priority, and I believe the same mentality should be applied to services for our seniors.”
Donnelly: “Retired seniors have worked hard and paid into Social Security for their entire working lives. They are counting on those benefits, and the government must hold up its end of the bargain. I am committed to working with my colleagues in both parties to strengthen Social Security.”
Braun: “Disability benefits are absolutely invaluable for many Hoosiers who are unable to work, and it is our responsibility to eliminate waste and fraud within this system to strengthen and improve services for disabled Americans.”
Donnelly: “Earlier this year, Congress passed, with my support, an increase in funding for the Social Security Administration. The additional funds are expected to help improve the claims backlog and better address the needs of disabled Hoosiers.”
Braun:“In my own business, I addressed the rising costs of health care head-on, and my employees have not paid a nickel more for their health care premiums for 10 years running. I look forward to exploring how solutions I have developed in my own business can be used to eliminate waste and streamline service in the Medicare system.”
Donnelly: “The easiest thing we can do to stabilize and lower health care costs, including the price of prescription drugs, is to urge the administration to stop undermining and sabotaging our health care system. I stand ready to work on bipartisan solutions to reduce health care costs, expand access to care and strengthen the system.”
Braun: “I am always ready to explore ideas for making Medicare more efficient. Many practices I have implemented as a business owner could be used to improve the Medicare program’s financial health, without sacrificing the quality of services.”
Donnelly: “Privatizing Medicare or turning it into a voucher system would take Hoosier seniors back to a time where they’d have to make difficult financial trade-offs. It would mean higher out-of-pocket costs for them and higher insurance premiums for younger Americans. Millions of Hoosiers have worked for a lifetime counting on the guarantee of Medicare. I am committed to ensuring that we keep that promise to them.”
Diana Lamirand is a writer living in Noblesville, Indiana.