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Amid the tragic hardships posed by COVID-19, people across America are taking the initiative to meet the needs of their communities in innovative ways. It’s important that any policy response to the crisis helps the uniquely American approach of empowering every individual to contribute to the best of their ability.
This is especially true in the areas of health care and spending. Lawmakers play a key role in lifting the barriers preventing doctors and nurses from providing quality care to those who need it, and ensuring these barriers are permanently removed once the coronavirus pandemic ends. They also need to budget and spend responsibly, so that America’s economy isn’t crippled coming out of the pandemic.
These are exactly the issues Representative Virginia Foxx and Chris McCoy, state director of Americans for Prosperity-North Carolina, covered on a recent video call to discuss how North Carolina is weathering the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re facing the most unusual situation that we’ve ever faced in this country in terms of health care,” Foxx said, striking a hopeful tone despite the unfortunate circumstances. “The one major thing that I think that’s going to come out of this crisis, Chris, is that we’re going to see how much innovation has occurred through the private sector as a result of this.”
Representative Foxx on health care: ‘What we need to do is empower North Carolinians to make choices.’
Regarding health care during COVID-19, Foxx emphasized that an effective solution requires prioritizing individual freedom. “What we need to do is empower North Carolinians to make choices. We need to institute more choices at every level that we possibly can.”
McCoy concurred, saying that “the more options that we have, the better it’s going to be. … Access to care and actually providing an environment where people can innovate and provide more access is an important piece to all this.”
Foxx and McCoy highlighted telemedicine as one pioneering solution North Carolinians are beginning to take advantage of. “Telemedicine and telehealth have been godsends for us,” Foxx said.
McCoy mentioned that his wife, who is a physical therapist, had patients who were happy with North Carolina’s recent lifting of telemedicine restrictions. “These folks love it — they feel safer, it’s easy, it saves time, it saves money from the travel,” he said. “It’s fantastic that we’re getting to that point in health care innovations where we’re able to hopefully do more of that in the future, and do more of it through telemedicine, making it more accessible to people.”
Representative Foxx on state-bailout proposals: ‘[We’ve] put aside money in…a rainy day fund. Well, by golly, this is a rainy day.’
Representative Foxx was adamant when McCoy asked her about proposals to bail out states for revenue lost as a result of COVID-19: “We should never bail out a state. That’s a no.”
She pointed out that the federal government has already appropriated hundreds of billions of dollars to states, and state leaders should be responsible with those funds instead of expecting a bailout.
She then shared more about North Carolina’s example. “[We’ve] put aside money in what we call a rainy day fund. Well, by golly, this is a rainy day. And now, our state is in good shape to handle these things, and that’s what every state should do,” she said.
The talk concluded with Representative Foxx commending state lawmakers for their leadership regarding North Carolina’s spending. “They made a lot of tough decisions early on,” she said. “It’s easy to spend a lot of money. It’s unpopular to not spend a lot of money. They made a lot of unpopular decisions for a while, and it put us in that great position.”
Join the Health Care Reimagined campaign to help make telemedicine and other innovative approaches to health care available to more people.
Then, take action on government spending by signing the pledge to reject reckless bailouts during the coronavirus pandemic.