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Indiana Election 2011 | Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations

Coats Talks Health Care During Campaign Stop In Indianapolis

Republican candidate Dan Coats held a roundtable discussion with health care professionals at St. Francis Hospital in Indianapolis.

Coats at hospital

Photo: St. Francis Hospital, Indianapolis

Republican Senate candidate Dan Coats told the group of medical professionals that met with him in Indianapolis that if elected, he will work to reform the health care plan recently passed by Congress.

After a lull in campaigning, the two major party candidates for Indiana’s open U.S. Senate seat were in Indianapolis Tuesday, each promoting very different agendas. In the morning, Republican candidate Dan Coats held a roundtable discussion with health care professionals at St. Francis Hospital while later that day, Brad Ellsworth announced his plans for lobbying reform.

Coats told the group of medical professionals that met with him in Indianapolis that if elected, he will work to reform the health care plan recently passed by Congress. He said repeal is his first choice, but acknowledged that is an unlikely option because the legislation was a legacy for President Barack Obama and that the two thirds majority needed to overturn a presidential veto of any repeal was unlikely to be attainable for Republicans, even if they win majorities in November. Speaking to the group at the Catholic-run hospital, he said, if elected, he would be sure to introduce at least one amendment regarding performing abortions.

“Everybody knows I’m a right to life candidate,” Coats said. “I think we have to respect those views and it has to be protected by law. My objection to this bill is significantly the same as yours, in that I did not believe that this health care law gave adequate protection of that.”

Coats said he would also work to introduce other changes to the new law, particularly in the areas of malpractice and liability reform. He said one change he would support is requiring people who sue for medical malpractice to pay legal fees if they lose their case.