The race for Indiana’s open U.S. Senate seat is coming down to the wire as Election Day approaches. Republican candidate Todd Young sat down with Indiana Public Broadcasting to discuss some of the race’s key issues.
BRANDON SMITH: What in your mind should be the most important issue in this race?
TODD YOUNG: Ensuring that every Hoosier has access to a quality education that turns into a good-paying job that ultimately leads to a meaningful career right here in the state of Indiana. And there are a lot of policy issues we could pursue to help make that happen but it really comes down to restoring the American dream and ensuring that every Hoosier benefits from economic growth once we restore our economy to a level of growth that Hoosiers would expect.
SMITH: In your mind, what is the future – what should be the future of Social Security and Medicare?
YOUNG: Well, we need to make them sustainable and that means making sure that people age 55 and older – those currently retired or even approaching retirement – get absolutely not only every benefit they’ve been promised, because these are programs people have been paid … they’ve paid into them and they’re earned benefits, but we also want to make sure that these people aren’t seeing their programs change dramatically because that understandably would make people apprehensive and anxious. With that said, we’re going to have to make some changes if people my age and younger are going to enjoy the full benefits of Social Security and Medicare.
SMITH: So, talking about – what are some of those changes, then, for the younger population?
YOUNG: Yeah, I think we need to recognize that somebody my age – you know, early 40s – we tend to work longer. That’s how things are trending. We’re no longer in the same sort of manufacturing economy that we were a couple of generations ago. And as we move to a more service-based economy, I think it’s … the American people accept that they may have to work another month or two, for example, before they can become eligible for some of these benefits. That will help make the program more solvent. We can adjust for my generation – again, not for current seniors – but for my generation and younger folks the cost of living adjustment to more accurately reflect the actual buying circumstances, the purchasing circumstances of our future seniors.
SMITH: You, obviously, are opposed to Obamacare. So what’s the plan to replace it?
YOUNG: So, let me lay the foundation so I’m perceived as fair-minded on this topic. If you don’t have a good process and buy-in in a bipartisan fashion, you tend to have a really bad work product. And so that’s why we have a really flawed piece of legislation here that’s causing premiums to skyrocket, co-pays to go up. Deductibles are at such a level right now that people often times really can’t use their insurance, their out-of-pocket payments are just so high.
So clearly we need to bring down costs, which was President Obama’s promise. But with that said, we can bring down costs by increasing the scope of our marketplace. So let’s allow for a national market in health insurance; let’s require the big insurance companies to actually have to compete.
The other thing we need to do is take care of junk lawsuits. Medical malpractice insurance in so many states across the country is really adding significantly to the cost of care. Another thing we need to look to do is pool together, allow people to pool together for more buying power as they negotiate with large insurance companies.
We can also incentivize people to take better care of themselves through health savings accounts and medical savings accounts. Right now there are limitations on those things on account of the Affordable Care Act and the parameters it establishes on essential health coverage.
And so let’s take a look at all these things and many more and grapple with the many distinct challenges of health care reform in a bipartisan fashion, in the light of day, and make sure that we get it right this time.