Rep. John Fleming (R-La.)
Specialty: Family practice
Active license: Yes
Medical degree: M.D., University of Mississippi, 1976
Sponsored legislation: HR 118 (allows states to opt out of insurance exchanges under the ACA); HR 6137 (loosens restrictions on health savings and flexible spending accounts)
Key healthcare votes
Yea: Repeal of ACA, HR 2 (2011), HR 6079 (2012); repeal funding for health insurance exchanges, HR 1213 (2011)
Nay: ACA, HR 3590 (2010); CHIP expansion, HR 2 (2009)
No vote: Repeal prevention and public health fund, HR 1217 (2011)
(Answers provided in an interview)
How does being a physician affect your approach to Congress?
“We’re trained to be seekers of truth. As such, we seek to solve problems. ... Just by our training and the very nature of what we do and who we are, we’re very frustrated when problems aren’t solved. ... Although we’re still greatly outnumbered, I think that really sets the stage for a significantly growing group to seek the truth and solutions to many problems. We want to make the diagnosis, set out the treatment and seek a cure.”
What happens now with the ACA?
“I think we’re going to see more and more things that will be unworkable and impractical about a very, very bureaucratic law that is governing over a very complex system. At some point, we’re going to be asked to try to fix it, and that’s obviously going to be interesting to see what happens.”
What’s a healthcare priority the ACA didn’t address?
“My priority was to restore much
more of a market economy to the healthcare insurance marketplace.
And the best way to do that is to begin allowing doctors to balance-bill again.”