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More Hoosiers in Trump Administration; Other Delegation Briefs

2017-11-17T14:20:11+00:00November 17th, 2017|

  • Another Hoosier is headed to Washington, D.C. to work in the Trump administration. This week, President Trump announced his pick for Secretary for Health and Human Services: Alex Azar, a former Eli Lilly executive. A lawyer by trade, Azar has spent the past 10 years focusing his time on government health care regulation.The most recent secretaries of this agency have been governors and lawmakers – and the decision to appoint someone from a regulated business is an interesting move; however, Azar worked as chief attorney and deputy secretary of the agency during the George W. Bush administration. Per usual, this position must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Senator Todd Young reacted to the news: “Alex Azar is an excellent choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). His previous leadership experience at HHS and his work at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly will be an effective combination as we work to solve our nation’s most significant health care challenges. I look forward to supporting his nomination, and working together to ensure all Americans have access to high-quality and affordable care.”
  • Marion Superior Court Judge William Nelson confirmed that he is under consideration to be the next director for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, aka the nation’s drug czar. Judge Nelson has served on the superior court since 2000 and previously presided over the Marion County small claims court. Judge Nelson has a personal connection to this position, as he lost his son to addiction in 2009. “My standpoint as a judge: We’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem,” Nelson said. “We can’t continue to jail the people suffering from this disease.”
  • Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) announced he is planning on introducing legislation that would create education vouchers for military families, using federal funds that now fund public schools serving these students. These education savings accounts would be created out of the $1.3 billion Impact Aid Program, which he hopes would provide a financial boost to those that lack a large tax base due to no military base, national park or Native American reservation within their borders. These education savings accounts could be used by families to fund education at a public school, private school, homeschool materials or tutoring. Banks said the accounts would provide families with “choice and flexibility,” and “improve morale” among those serving in the military.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a medical device used to help with opioid withdrawal that has a connection to Indiana. The device, NSS-2 BRIDGE, was developed by Innovative Health Solutions Inc. in Versailles. FDA clearance will allow physicians to prescribe the device, as well as make the device eligible for insurance coverage once states and commercial carriers adopt the technology.
  • The Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues joined Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Tuesday to discuss the future of infrastructure in the United States. Representative Susan Brooks (IN-5), caucus co-chair, stated: “Indiana truly is the crossroads of America. In order to ensure our goods can be transported efficiently and families can travel safely from one place to the next, it is critical that our infrastructure is modernized. I’d like to thank Transportation Secretary Chao for sharing her insights and expertise as we look for ways in Congress to improve our nation’s infrastructure and invest in the future of our roads, bridges, airports and more.”