U.S. Sen. Richard Burr expressed cautious optimism today for the future of the nation’s health care system as well as concern for how the country will pay for the Affordable Care Act during a visit to the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.
During a noon address, he told the faculty members, administrators, staff members and students in attendance that he wanted to talk to students about the ACA, known by detractors as “Obamacare,” as well as “to have a real candid exchange about where our medical system is headed in the U.S. and how that affects their future.”
As he described the costs of implementing the act and the taxes it will impose, such as levies on medical device manufacturers, he said, “I’m not going to deal with the rear view mirror. I’m going to look forward.”
For approximately 35 minutes, Burr talked about the benefits of state-run health insurance exchanges and of the medical home concept, predicted fewer people will choose to become physicians due to declining incomes, called for tax reform and said the federal government faces a financial crisis that will demand significant reform to entitlement programs such as means testing for Social Security cost-of-living-adjustments.
He then took questions from the audience for the remainder of the hour.
Burr, a two-term Republican from Winston-Salem, was invited to ECU by the student chapter of the American Medical Association.