When U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, conducted his Brunswick town hall in February at the College of Coastal Georgia, many of the questions and concerns aired by those in attendance involved the Affordable Care Act and the House Republicans’ efforts to, as the phrase goes, repeal and replace it.
A number of people who asked questions at Carter’s return trip Wednesday evening to CCGA also concerned Congressional efforts at health care reform, but one figure factored into the discussion significantly more than six months earlier — President Donald Trump.
One of the opening questions for Carter was whether he had “a death wish” for the people he represented, by supporting the House GOP bill — the American Health Care Act.
“Obviously, no, I do not have a death wish — what I have a wish for is accessible, affordable, patient-centered health care,” Carter said. “I don’t know your situation, but I do know that on average, Georgians have experienced 106 percent increase in their premiums since Obamacare came into effect. I do know that 16 out of 17 counties in the 1st Congressional District only have one provider. I do know that everybody else’s premiums have gone up. We need to provide for people — especially people with preexisting conditions.”
Carter reiterated that the AHCA — the bill passed by House Republicans and advocated for by Carter on numerous national news programs — provided for people with preexisting conditions and those who are working but with lower incomes. When going into the subject further, later on in the town hall, Carter said if states sought waivers on things like preexisting conditions, they had to make a case for how the state would take on that responsibility. He also suggested that low-income people should not be covered by Medicaid, but instead by private insurance as a way to lower premiums by having more people in the coverage pool.
Those statements got a mixed reception from those in attendance, which had notable representations from both supporters and detractors of the congressman’s policy goals.
Then, a little more than 19 minutes into the event, one of the attendees — a supporter of the president — asked where Carter was, in general, regarding Trump’s agenda for the country.
Carter said he backed the president 110 percent.
That carried over to the RAISE Act, a bill currently lodged in a Senate committee, but with the backing of U.S. Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and which the president publicly announced his support for in a media event Aug. 2 at the White House.
The legislation seeks to cut legal immigration in half, with preference to people who speak English well and have jobs in the United States waiting for them that pay well, especially for highly skilled occupations.
The bill also cuts back on the ability of qualifying immigrants to bring over family members other than spouses and children.
“I liked everything about it,” Carter said. He added that if the bill did pass the Senate and make it over to the House, he would do everything he could to make sure it succeeded.
Later in the town hall, an attendee asked Carter how he felt about some of the president’s statements that some have considered uncouth or offensive, including Trump’s behavior on Twitter.
“Look, I’m not saying I agree with everything that comes out of the Oval Office,” Carter said. “I will tell you this — my staff won’t show me how to tweet. They don’t want me tweeting, and that’s fine — I don’t want to know how.
“But I will tell you — this is our president, and I support him. And I’m going to do everything I can to help him. Yeah, there’s a lot of noise out there, and some of that is coming from the media. I tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen who has been disrespected by the media as much as this one.”
Carter continues his town hall tour today with events in Rincon, Richmond Hill and Savannah.