There was an article from May 19 by James Wensits in the South Bend Tribune on the debate between Joe Donnelly and Chris Chocola on the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit plan.
Donnelly’s main critique of the plan was the provision that forbids the federal government from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to obtain a lower price for the drugs. He is also in favor of eliminating penalties for seniors who did not sign up for the complicated plan by the May 15 deadline. Chocola apparently was unwilling to take a strong stand on whether he was for or against such an extension.
Chocola criticized Donnelly’s criticism, suggesting that Donnelly would have voted against the plan had Donnelly been in Congress at the time. While Donnelly has retorted that he would have worked for a better plan, the suggestion that Donnelly might have voted against the plan may actually endear him to erstwhile conservatives in Chocola’s district.
One of the recurring criticisms I hear about the Republicans in power from my fiscally conservative friends is that the President and the Congress are spending like drunken sailors. The Medicare Part D prescription drug program is Exhibit “A” in their indictment of the fiscally reckless spending policies of the past few years. Hearing from Chocola that Donnelly would have voted against the program would be music to their ears.