Congresswoman Renee Ellmers joined a roundtable discussion Thursday held by the Apex Chamber of Commerce to hear concerns from local small business owners about the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, and to discuss possible solutions.
A few asked the congresswoman what progress Republicans in Washington D.C. have made towards lowering the costs associated with health care and insurance.
“I can’t tell you that that’s happened yet, because all we are seeing right now is the cost of health care going up,” she told the group.
“Unfortunately, as far as the ACA, much of the progress we’ve made is really on messaging and having the conversation – actually hearing about the results of the ACA,” she said later in an interview.
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“What I will say is it is always difficult to pass any changes because many of the individuals behind it are still in Washington,” Ellmers said. “But we have an alternative to the ACA. If we are able to repeal it, we will have a plan for the people that will bring down cost and increase choice.”
The passage of the ACA was a major reason Ellmers, a former nurse, ran for office. She supports a full repeal.
She believes that once Obama leaves office, a Republican president would repeal the law. However, she didn’t say which candidates in the crowded GOP field would be best for the job.
“I’m listening to what they all have to say. I’m not locked in on any one individual, especially on this issue, because there is a wide range of issue that need to be dealt with,” she said.
Ellmers an initiative she helped pass to speed of the certification process for the Food and Drug Administration’s certification process of new drugs could help lower costs.
She also talked about adding transparency to costs of health care and “preventative health.”
“Promoting healthy lifestyles – that brings down the cost of health care,” Ellmers said. “The ACA is not necessarily all bad, there is a silver lining there. People are paying much more attention to their health, to what’s happening, to the cost.”