Congressman Ralph Norman says he faced plenty of questions on the future of health care in Rock Hill during his tour through the city Wednesday.
Norman, a Rock Hill Republican who was elected to represent South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District in a special election earlier this summer, told The Herald he felt frustrated by the Senate’s inability to pass a “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act.
He said he would spend the August recess meeting with constituents up and down the 5th District throughout the month.
“I’ll look forward to getting back (to Washington, D.C.) and I think we’ll be working on putting something else in place,” said Norman, who will be speaking at the Lancaster Rotary Club noon Thursday. “I haven’t talked to a person yet who is happy with their insurance yet. They can’t afford their premiums, and God help them if they get sick.”
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He defended President Donald Trump, saying his recent executive orders on the Keystone XL Pipeline and rolling back regulations have “moved the country forward.”
Repealing the Affordable Care Act – or “Obamacare” – has been a Republican campaign promise for seven years. Norman often brought up the issue on the campaign trail himself. He won the congressional seat by a narrower-than-expected margin over Democrat Archie Parnell of Sumter and several third-party candidates.
Norman tours Rock Hill facilities
Norman said he was looking to use the August recess to listen to constituents’ concerns and understand how he could help them while serving in Washington.
Composite Resources managing partner Morgan Brady said he was able to organize his meeting with the congressman through an industry association. Brady said he was impressed with Norman’s straight talk.
“You get a lot of public officials who say, ‘Hey, we’re pro-small business,’” Brady said. “It’s nice to say it, it sounds nice, but to have a congressman in your building who has a small business background, who understands your pain points, that means a lot. I look forward to what he can accomplish.”
Composite Resources is a contract manufacturer of Composite Components, which specializes in using carbon fiber to create various parts for aerospace, defense and industrial applications.
The company creates parts of airplane seats and trunk covers for NASCAR cars, according to Brady.
Norman said he has been to several local businesses which are either expanding, seeking more workers, or feel optimistic for the future.
“Whether it’s cutting regulations or helping a bill, I want to be able to help small businesses grow,” Norman said. “With regulations that come down the pike, we all deal with Congress in some form or fashion. Whether it’s small or big, you have to address (problems).”