Congressman Warren Davidson was the guest at a recent meeting of the Western Clark County Business Coalition.
He began his address by giving a little bit of his past history.
Davidson said that he was running a business when Congressman John Boehner announced that he was retiring.
“Somebody stops in, more as a joke than anything, and says, ‘Why don’t you run for Congress?’” “I said, ‘That’s crazy.’ I thought at best I would donate some money to whoever I thought was the best candidate.”
After a month or so, he put a business plan together and talked to a marketing person who did work for his company. “She wasn’t political, not even a Republican.”
Davidson said that he was planning a primary campaign, and won the primary. He then went on to win the special election to fill Boehner’s unexpired term, then won the general election five months later, giving him his first full term in Congress.
“People said, ‘Hey, what happened? I thought Republicans had a plan,’” said Davidson. “There’s a 47 bullet point plan on healthcare. The first bullet point is Repeal Obamacare,” he said. “We’re still kinda stuck on that.”
He said that the American Healthcare Act passed with all Republican votes.
He said that a bill to end anti-trust exemptions for Healthcare Companies passed 416-7, and that 6 of the 7 voted no because they believed someone else’s name should have been added as a co-sponsor.
The bill had been before the house since 2010. He said he asked a colleague why it had taken so long to come to a vote. The colleague responded, “Well, the best I can figure is because it would pass.”
“I guess that’s why it won’t come up in the Senate,” he said. “The Senate can’t agree on anything on healthcare.”
He then moved on to tax reform.
He said that many major companies have their cash offshore. “They don’t have it offshore because of political ideology,” he said. “They have it offshore because our tax code is broken.” He went on to say that the tax code needs to be fixed in order to stay competitive.
He said that his Democrat friends say “Republicans are just shills for Corporate America.”
“Well, Mark Zuckerberg [CEO of Facebook] isn’t going to cut me a check,” said Davidson.
He was then asked about the media, and he said “On the whole, your local newspapers are pretty good.”
“On TV, if there were ten facts that we discussed here today, one network would pick two facts on the right and 7 or 8 networks would pick two facts on the left, and they would call that the news,” he said. “Then most of America would be, like, ‘What actually happened?’”
He was then asked about the cost of healthcare. “Healthcare costs are killing me,” said Suzanne Winters of Wenco Construction. She said she has 60 employees, and she tries to pay as much of the insurance as she can, but they can’t afford it. She said that they then go to the exchanges and find that they can’t get it because she offers healthcare.
“I had a 77% increase on healthcare,” said Winters. “Do you think I can afford that?”
“This is one of the main reason I ran,” said Davidson. “My business was metal stamping. I found I was spending more time negotiating for healthcare than I was negotiating for steel prices.”
He said that most small business owners pay more to the IRS than they pay themselves.
“We have to tell the American people that we’re going to do what we told them we’re going to do,” he said, “and in my opinion, it’s more competition, not less.”
He said that prices stay in check because of competition.
According to Davidson, the cost of healthcare is the reason it’s such a challenge. “We’re all fighting over who’s picking up the tab. We have high quality healthcare, it just costs an insane amount that makes it inaccessible to many.”
Davidson also said “We can’t keep governing with a cell phone and a pen or a Twitter account. There have to be real laws passed through the legislature, or we don’t keep our republic.”
He was then asked about Bernie Sanders’ idea of Medicaid For All.
“I think that would be a horrible plan, but I think Vermont should be free to do that,” he replied.
Davidson explained that Medicare is given to the states by a formula. “You get this much for nursing home people, so much for developmental disabilities, this much for kids.”
The plan that has passed the House, but that the Senate refuses to vote on, sends money to the states as block grants. “For the most part, there’s no formula. It’s your money, do what you want with it,” he said.
He said it’s the same amount of money, but it doesn’t have many strings attached.
Congressman Davidson holds mobile office hours every Tuesday in Clark County. At 1:30 p.m. his representative will be at the New Carlisle City Building, at 2:15 at the Enon Administrative Offices and at 3:30 p.m. at the Bethel Township Trustees Office at the new fire house.