Price, whose territory now includes Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville and half of Tucker because of redistricting, congratulated the newly-formed chamber on its role in boosting the local economy.
He briefly shared two pieces of legislation where bipartisanship has helped in Washington, D.C. One was the recent passage of a bill regarding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
“We’ve had a huge scandal in the VA health system and it’s been less than responsive to those who have served and lived in harm’s way … they deserve the highest quality and most responsive health care we can provide,” said Price.
With the recently passed legislation, he said now veterans who are unable to get an appointment within 30 days or who live further than 40 miles from a veteran’s administration facility are able to be cared for in their community closer to home.
The second legislation regards traffic projects. Price said the federal highway trust fund — which runs out every five or six years — was dangerously close to depletion at the end of July/early August. Congress stepped in and managed to extend the funds for another year, said Price, allowing many Department of Transportation projects to continue.
As a former orthopedic surgeon, Price said he was one of those who actively fought the Affordable Care Act, “…because I believed it would be the death of quality health care in our country,” he said.
The top three things many should have in regards to health care are accessibility, affordability and high quality, said Price. With that, he added in choices, responsiveness and innovation.
“Where we’re heading right now violates every one of these,” he said. “Quality physicians will let you know there is a diminishment of quality health care because of what they’re having to do with the rules and regulations that are coming out.”
Price said he is supporting House Resolution 2300, which he said is a bill that gets everyone covered with insurance they want for their family — not policies they are forced to buy. The new health care law also plays into the economy and jobs with what Price mentioned as the 29ers and 49ers. The 29ers are those workers whose hours have been reduced from full-time down to 29 hours. If a business gets an employee down to less than 30 hours, then it is not required for coverage under the ACA, said Price.
“So folks are working two part-time jobs to make up for what they were able to do with a full-time job,” he said.
The 49ers are those businesses who are trying to get their staff down below 50, which Price said would exempt them under the ACA.
He said there needs to be regulation with some sensibility and with a cost benefit to employees and business owners.