Walorski, Hackett talk healthcare, COVID in 2nd District debate

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2020 file photo, the monitor of a television camera shows the set stage for a Democratic presidential primary debate, in Charleston, S.C. Election nights always bring surprises, but media organizations preparing to follow the vote count next week are preaching caution this year. The increase in early and mail-in voting is complicating what used to be a fairly cut-and-dried process of reporting how the story will unfold. News organizations also need to cover voter integrity issues and make plans under a COVID-19 cloud. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The candidates for Indiana’s second congressional district took part in a debate Wednesday night.

Incumbent Representative Jackie Walorski (R) is seeking another term in the U.S. House while attorney Pat Hackett (D) is challenging her on the Democratic ticket. Much of the debate focused on healthcare, specifically the coronavirus pandemic and Obamacare, as well as the American economy.

Walorski called President Trump’s leadership through the coronavirus “incredible.”

“We do have a national plan and that plan is being worked through the infrastructure of the states,” Walorski said. “That’s how the money has come down through the CARES Act. That’s how the supplies have come down.”

Hackett called the White House’s response to the pandemic “appalling” and that Walorski has allowed it to happen.

“She (Walorski) subsequently has opposed any effort to give relief to the people of this district and the American people the last six months,” Hackett said. “It’s unconscionable and a dereliction of duty.”

Walorski disagreed, pointing to a bill from the Senate that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not bringing to the floor. Hackett said there should also be nationwide mask mandates imposed in order to stop the spread of the virus.

On healthcare, Hackett said Walorski was wrong to vote in favor of efforts to get rid of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate saying that it’s because of that that insurance premiums on the ACA marketplaces have gone up.

“I find it wild that my opponent would talk about things like healthcare and taking care of people and she supports a healthcare plan that would take our employer-sponsored healthcare away from every Hoosier,” said Walorski.

On the economy, Hackett said she would support an effort to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act pushed for by President Trump early in his presidency.

“I am a responsible capitalist,” Hackett said. “Jackie Walorski is not. She voted for the greatest tax gift for the wealthy ever. Stratified wealth. Blew up our deficit.”

“The whole purpose of that (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) was not giving a cut to the wealthy, that already pay millions of dollars in taxes and employ millions of people,” Walorski retorted. “The tax cuts went to the kitchen table where people live and the people are.”

Walorski said the tax cuts “injected” money back into the American family.

The debate Wednesday night was the only time the two candidates will debate in the second congressional district. Election Day is less than a week away.