Access to quality healthcare has been one of the main issues Representative McHenry has worked on in the North Carolina House. The most dangerous obstacle to healthcare access today is the trend of skyrocketing jury awards for so called “pain and suffering” damages.
Excessive jury awards are forcing many doctors’ insurance premiums so high they cannot afford to continue to practice. The problem is very real; some counties in the mountains of North Carolina now have no doctors practicing obstetrics because they cannot afford insurance. There are many good doctors who love their work but who are leaving the profession and this is hurting patients.
Capping jury awards on non-economic damages, limiting what trial lawyers take from injured patients, enabling periodic payments of awards, and letting juries see the real economic picture through changes in collateral source rules will all help to improve healthcare.
Access to new drugs also needs to be improved. Congressman McHenry supports cutting red-tape and undue bureaucracy within the FDA so that the approval process for new and potentially lifesaving drugs can be accelerated without sacrificing safety.
Congressman McHenry also supports the establishment of Association Health Plans, which would allow small businesses that could not otherwise afford health insurance to band together and purchase insurance as a group so that more working Americans have access to health insurance.
Furthermore, Congressman McHenry believes in the right of American’s to have tax-free Medical Savings Accounts to help cover out-of-pocket expenses associated with health care.
Finally, Representative McHenry believes that our nation’s community colleges should be a top priority for funding as they serve to train and retrain students and displaced workers in nursing and other health fields.