Ferguson: Healthcare still top priority for Congress

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Congressman Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., says repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act still is a top priority for Congress and is likely to happen when members return from the Easter recess.

“Healthcare is still our number one priority,” he said. “I don’t think anyone thought we’d take one stab at this and then set it to the side.”

It could take longer than originally planned, however.

“It’s not going to be one vote,” he said. “It’s going to be a multi-year process.”

Congress tried and failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as one of its first acts earlier this year. Many candidates – including Ferguson – had run on a promise to repeal.

“The Republican party is still learning to govern as the majority,” Ferguson said. “There were good ideas that got interjected into the process. We’re going to wind up with a better bill than what we started with. We don’t want what we had (before the Affordable Care Act was passed), and what we have right now is unsustainable. We can’t have an economy where the middle class is pummeled by healthcare costs.”

Ferguson said the new bill will include a safety net for those most vulnerable and ensure competition that will lower costs.

Ferguson said he also believes President Donald Trump is not holding Congress back from making progress – on healthcare or other issues.

“He’s letting Congress work through the progress,” he said. “He expects Congress to do its job.”

The president has a good legislative team, Ferguson said, and relationships between the House, Senate and Congress are good.

“We’re a diverse nation, so coming up with legislation that reflects the diversity of those ideas is a challenge,” he said.