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The Madison County Chamber of Commerce headed to Washington D.C. last week. Comprised of Republicans and Democrats, the team representing our county was made up of business owners and non-profit leadership. We even had direct competitors along for the visit. Regardless of political views, profit centers or ideology, I am proud to say the group worked together to meet with our representatives and come away with progress. Mission accomplished . . . or at least started!
Washington – as anyone with a television or Twitter account knows – appears in disarray and mired in disagreement. The media may have escalated the conflict on many issues, but as health care reform remains a battlefield, most of our time was devoted to that conversation. We would be remiss not to give kudos to Michael Schroyer, St. Vincent Northeast Region President, and Beth Tharp, president and CEO of Community Hospital Anderson who worked together to educate our representatives and agreed to work together on solutions to reduce burdensome documentation procedures. When politicians on both sides of the aisle agree and when the professionals agree good things can happen.
A very engaging Senator Joe Donnelly discussed healthcare as well as repatriation of corporate dollars back to the United States. When one of our delegate’s members asked Senator Donnelly to share what single thing he could tell us about Washington right now, he chuckled and replied, “Don’t listen to the media. The press makes it look like we do nothing but fight and that’s just not how it is.” Those were refreshing words.
Senator Todd Young put Tharp and Schroyer on the task of offering solutions and suggestions. Our group also discussed Bridges of Hope. Based in Anderson, Bridges of Hope is a new assisting with inpatient and outpatient care for those struggling with addictions. Sadly, the numbers of people affected by addiction are staggering.
Representative Susan Brooks asked us for thoughts on infrastructure spending. She also facilitated our thoughts on education, and about how kids in school can understand that they choices they make today will affect their future.
The 90 minutes spent with the Vice President’s staff was enlightening and walking about the stoic office was surreal. The Eisenhower building was an impressive structure and you can only imagine the security. However, the real excitement and joy that afternoon was when the Vice President walked in to personally greet us. About half the group knows VP Pence pretty well and it was like old home week for all of us.
What are the two big takeaways? Everyone agrees on needed infrastructure projects but the question is how to pay for the improvements. Both branches of Congress and both political parties agree this will happen. The second takeaway came from Senator Young. “One thing that you and everyone else needs to understand is that healthcare reform must happen but also that it will not be perfect.” Not surprisingly, it all comes down to money and whose cookie jar gets tapped to pay for it.
Disclaimer: Do not construe anything written in this post or this blog in its entirety as a recommendation, research, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Everything in this post is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. I or my affiliates may hold positions in securities mentioned in the blog. Please see my Disclosure page for full disclaimer.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column offset=”vc_hidden-lg vc_hidden-md vc_hidden-sm”][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”sidebar-main”][/vc_column][/vc_row]