A Georgia congressman was the featured speaker during a discussion of “Federal Issues Facing the Medical Community,” organized by U.S. Rep Walter Jones’ office and held Aug. 12 at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU.
Chancellor Steve Ballard welcomed Jones, who then turned the floor over to Rep. Tom Price – a Republican who worked as an orthopedic surgeon and taught medicine at Emory University before taking office.
“To physicians, nurses and others in the health care arena – thank you for what you do,” Price began. “I know sometimes we (politicians) make what you do more difficult with what we do.”
He expressed what he described as principles of a good health care system held by all Americans – accessibility, affordability and high quality. He added that any system should also be responsive to patient needs, innovative and offer choices in care.
Price expressed his opinion on the federal Affordable Care Act and endorsed an alternate bill (HR 2300) to address health care and insurance challenges nationwide. He also issued challenges to those in attendance: Keep patients at the center, don’t give up and engage in the political process.
“Our system only works if you’re involved,” he said. “Don’t assume that we know (what you’re thinking).”
Vidant Medical Center CEO Steve Lawler closed the event. He applauded local physicians for always being engaged and putting patients first.