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Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) is new to the world of politics. His commitment to really repealing Obamacare was on full display as Speaker Paul Ryan pushed his health care bill. What he says is not just words. His behavior made that clear in the recent healthcare debate.
Republicans have been running on repeal of Obamacare for the better part of a decade, and we saw some members who seemed happy to support RyanCare – they did not want to be faced with a vote for a strong repeal they passed last year when they knew President Obama would not sign it. Speaker Paul Ryan even said that strong bill was the “clear path” forward under a Republican president. Now that we have one, he backpedaled.
Ted believes that a free market and patient-centered laws will spur more competition, lower costs, and result more affordable health insurance – and care. You should not need health insurance to cover a chipped tooth or an ingrown toenail. A free market will lower health care costs, not just change how the government pays for it.
When actual care is cheaper, people will choose to pay out of pocket rather than covering everything through insurance. This will increase competition among health care providers, since people will be shopping around for the best prices for non-urgent care. And more affordable care means charitable ventures to provide health care can have a greater impact with every dollar.
I guarantee you that Ted had phone calls and visits last week from powerful people offering him favors if he compromised his principles and supported RyanCare and probably threatened to unseat him in the next primary if he stuck to his guns for a good repeal bill.
Knowing all the new Obamacare-like flaws in the bill and large parts of ObamaCare left in place, he knew this would not fulfill his campaign promises. He knew it would not lower the costs of health insurance and health care. He knew it swapped out one entitlement program for another and that traded one individual mandate for another.
He knows talk is cheap – especially after working in Washington for a couple months! I am more convinced now than ever that he’s a true believer. Ted’s first intense test came this month, and he made it clear that his vote – your representation in the U.S. House – would not be swayed by House leadership’s threats or quid pro quos.
Even for those who disagree with his policy positions, it has to be nice to know where Ted stands. You do not have to wait to see whether he flips or flops on a given fight. His principles guide him.
We were impressed at his resolve, especially as a new member of congress, and we look forward to working with him in the future to bring down health insurance premiums and health care costs. We are on the same team when it comes to conservative reforms to the health care system.