The Indiana Way
Americans are deeply frustrated with Congress’ lack of constructive progress. But Washington dysfunction is NO excuse for inaction. Despite a divided government, we can take steps today to strengthen our communities, our state and our nation.
Over the last three years in office, I have been canvassing the state of Indiana and listening to Hoosiers. From coffee shops and diners, schools and hospitals, military bases, farms, small businesses and large factories, I’ve been listening to Hoosiers share their stories and ideas for better policies.
I’ve been gathering input from Hoosiers on commonsense solutions to some of our nation’s biggest problems. And I’ve turned to the Indiana model as a blueprint for a more efficient and fiscally responsible federal government. The Indiana model is needed in Washington to put our country back on a path to growth and opportunity.
My roadmap for 2014 – The Indiana Way – is a 10-point plan that takes the model of Indiana and the ideas I have gathered from Hoosiers to make our state and nation stronger.
Dan Coats’ Roadmap for 2014
- PROTECT HOOSIERS FROM THE BURDENS OF OBAMACARE
This is the number one issue I hear about from Hoosiers across the state. We must take action to limit the negative impacts of the law, starting by ensuring individuals and families receive the same exemption from health care mandates that the Obama Administration has given to businesses. Next, let’s repeal the Medical Device Tax included in the health care law. Seventy-nine Senators have supported a repeal of this damaging tax and the House of Representatives already passed it. Since its implementation, this tax has caused the loss of more than 10,000 jobs. Not only is this tax costing thousands of jobs in Indiana and across the country, but it also is limiting research on lifesaving devices.
I also will promote alternative solutions to replace Obamacare with step-by-step reforms that drive down the cost of care and put patients, not bureaucrats, in charge of health care decisions. These solutions should include:
- Allowing small businesses to pool resources to purchase insurance for employees.
- Increasing competition and driving down costs by allowing health insurance to be purchased across state lines.
- Reforming medical malpractice laws to reduce junk lawsuits against doctors.
- Expanding Health Savings Accounts.
- Allowing states flexibility to help drive down costs and preserve state-based innovative solutions like the Healthy Indiana Plan.
- Retaining the goal of certain health care law provisions, such as ensuring access to coverage of pre-existing conditions and allowing those up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ health insurance.
- SUPPORT INDIANA INFRASTRUCTURE
Indiana’s roads, ports and rail make our state the crossroads of America. I will fight to keep Hoosiers moving and businesses growing. Our state must have adequate funding to maintain and improve our infrastructure, both by ensuring Indiana gets its fair share of federal funding and by pursuing public-private partnerships. I have cosponsored legislation that will make it easier for states and local municipalities to finance their infrastructure projects through an innovative funding mechanism. I also will work to maintain unfettered usage of our waterways as we address the dangers posed by Asian Carp.
- GROW HOOSIER MANUFACTURING JOBS
Bureaucrats who have never run a business are over-regulating successful employers out of business. I am sponsoring regulatory reform legislation that will help Indiana businesses focus on creating more jobs rather than wasting time on unnecessary paperwork. I also am working on legislation that will improve federal workforce training programs to help our companies find workers with the skills they need.
- UNLOCK AFFORDABLE ENERGY
Indiana produces over 85 percent of its electricity from coal-fired sources, which in return provides Hoosier families and businesses with access to some of the most affordable and reliable electricity in the nation. Unfortunately, the President’s “War on Coal” and other regulatory restrictions on energy production inhibit our ability to utilize these affordable energy resources. I will work to offer solutions that balance protecting our environment with protecting our access to the energy resources that fuel thousands of Hoosier jobs. This includes proposals to give utilities the time they need to comply with the EPA’s most aggressive air rules, which threaten the reliability of the electric grid across the Midwest. I also have cosponsored legislation that will help minimize regional price spikes Hoosiers occasionally see at the gas pump.
- SAVE INDIANA FAMILY FARMS
Nothing is more un-American than taxing someone twice, especially on their deathbed. The Death Tax is one of the top reasons Indiana family farms do not survive to the next generation. Let’s do what’s right and start saving family farms by eliminating the Death Tax. I also will continue working to prevent Washington bureaucrats from imposing unnecessary mandates on hard-working farmers.
- ELIMINATE WASTE AND FRAUD IN HEALTH AND RETIREMENT SECURITY PROGRAMS
Borrowing from our children to pay for past promises is generational theft. While Congress and the President must work to reform these safety net programs to make them solvent, we can take first steps today by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse within the programs. These programs play a critical role in providing needed services, but we must ensure that the programs are not abused and benefits go only to those who should truly receive them.
- SUPPORT COMMUNITY AND FAITH-BASED GROUPS AND PROTECT THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION
As the federal government is forced to reduce spending, community and faith-based organizations are increasingly filling the void. We need to make sure we allow these organizations to grow without federal interference. Additionally, we must respect and protect the conscience clause and other fundamental religious freedoms that Americans have enjoyed for over 200 years. The government should not force faith-based groups to contradict their values every day of the week except their day of worship.
- SUPPORT COMMUNITY BANKS AND SMALL BUSINESSES
Community banks play a key role in helping local businesses and should not have to pay the price for the actions of Wall Street. I am sponsoring legislation that would maintain the ability of our community banks to focus on helping families and local employers. I also will promote the commercialization of federally-funded research, so we can help small businesses move ideas from our Indiana universities to the marketplace.
- MAKE THE TAX SYSTEM SIMPLER AND FAIRER TO GROW THE ECONOMY, REDUCE THE DEBT
Everyone knows America has one of the most tangled complex tax codes in the world. We need comprehensive tax reform now to make it simpler, fairer and more competitive. This will result in more jobs, fewer taxes and a stronger economy. I am continuing to work on a bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform plan that adopts former President Ronald Reagan’s model of simplifying the tax code to grow the economy and reduce the debt.
- PROTECT OUR HOMELAND AND PROMOTE INDIANA’S DEFENSE ASSETS
The most important function of government is to provide for a strong national defense and protect the homeland. From our military installations to defense contractors and universities across the state, we have a strong arsenal of Hoosier resources to support our troops and ensure they are safe and well-equipped. That is why I will champion Indiana’s national defense jewels like NSWC Crane, which are playing a leading role in defending against the 21st century threats facing our nation. These threats no longer come only by land, sea or air, but also through cyberspace. A major cyber attack is one of the greatest potential dangers to our country and economy, and I am working to protect all Indiana businesses from this threat.