INDIANAPOLIS – The Vice President returns to the Hoosier State today, parachuting in for a closed-door fundraising roundtable for Eric Holcomb. Without media, there’s no telling what the conversation will cover. So, for the sake of transparency, here are five things they could be talking about.
It’s nominally a workforce round table, but it’s unlikely Holcomb and Pence are getting into the nuts and bolts of Indiana’s workforce. Look under the hood, and it’s clear the educational attainment of Indiana’s workforce is actually declining, even as the US rate is increasing.
While House Democrats are passing legislation that could lower the cost of prescription drugs by 55 percent, the Trump administration is siding with lobbyists and refusing to use the power of the government to negotiate lower prices. Meanwhile, the cost of prescription drugs in Indiana has spiked by nearly 60 percent between 2012 and 2017.
Perhaps Holcomb could clarify his position on a lawsuit that would dismantle a critical achievement in Pence’s gubernatorial term, the expansion of Medicaid to 400,000 Hoosiers – even after Pence himself dragged his feet and still pushed for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Holcomb, who famously said he was “of one mind” with Mike Pence on social issues, leads the league in refusing to comment. In fact, Holcomb ‘no-comments’ on stories at nearly twice the rate Pence did in the governor’s office. Nothing says leadership like ducking comment.
Holcomb and Pence could swap notes on how to appease gun extremists while side-stepping calls for commonsense reforms. Holcomb, just days after the one-year anniversary of a school shooting in Noblesville, strode out onto the stage at the NRA convention and spiked the football on legislation to loosen gun regulations in Indiana.
Indiana Democratic Chairman John Zody believed the meeting was the latest example of how Holcomb intends to fully embrace the Trump/Pence agenda heading into his reelection.
“Every time Holcomb shares the stage with Mike Pence, he implicitly backs the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle health care for hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers,” said Zody. “While Hoosiers are forced to dig deeper and deeper into their pockets to afford prescription drugs, Holcomb and Pence are meeting behind closed doors with big money donors. Meanwhile, working Hoosiers are waiting for real answers.”