ANDERSON – Democrat Dee Thornton’s platform to represent the 5th Congressional District has not changed dramatically in two years.
Thornton captured the Democratic Party nomination in 2018 and received 43% of the vote in losing to incumbent Republican Susan Brooks.
Thornton is one of five Democrats seeking the party’s nomination after the announcement by Brooks last year that she wouldn’t be seeking another term.
With the primary election moved from May 5 to June 2 because of the coronavirus pandemic, Thornton said the extra time is allowing candidates more of an opportunity to reach out to voters.
“The state has moved aggressively to encourage vote by mail,” Thornton said Friday. “Because of the social distancing requirements, it is very difficult to meet with voters.”
Thornton said her platform has not changed over the past two years.
“I’m interested in affordable health care,” she said. “The Republicans are working to dismantle it all.”
Thornton said the nation is gradually moving toward universal health care and the current pandemic is making it more necessary than ever before.
“It has to be a bipartisan effort,” she said. “Right now, people are not working and have no health issues. My proposal is to move gradually.”
Thornton said the first age group that should be covered by universal health care is Americans between the ages of 50 and 64.
“That is the critical age group with an increased demand for health care,” she said. “They are at the high end of the wage scale and the most vulnerable to lose their jobs to a younger, less expensive person.”
Thornton said the Veterans Administration health care plan, which she said is a form of socialized medicine, should remain in place.
“We don’t want to disrupt the apple cart,” she said. “The Affordable Care Act should remain in place.”
Concerning the recent $1.5 trillion and $500 billion in aid packages during the pandemic, Thornton said the country will have to grow revenues and reduce costs.
She was opposed to the $1.5 billion tax cut because there was no trickle-down savings to the middle class and small businesses.
“There are areas of the budget that will have to be looked at,” Thornton said of reducing spending.
“To grow revenues, we have to stop companies that are paying no taxes,” she said.
Congress should also consider a universal basic income, she said.
“Everything has to be on the table,” Thornton said. “We have to look at all options.”