By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Hopeful no fan of health plan
District 9 candidate Lee Hawkins speaks to the North Forsyth 400 Rotary Club on Tuesday. - photo by Jennifer Sami
There are many perspectives on the new federal health care law.

Tuesday, members of the North Forsyth 400 Rotary Club heard about the issue from Lee Hawkins.

Having been a dentist for more than three decades, the Republican candidate for the District 9 U.S. House seat said he understands the impact the measure would have on the industry.

Doctors would be the hardest hit, he said, noting the high cost of education would not be met with corresponding pay. Issues surrounding doctor liability would also be a problem, he said.

Hawkins, a former state Senator from Gainesville, is one of eight candidates in the May 11 special election to fill the unexpired term of Nathan Deal, who resigned to run for governor. The winner will serve until January.

Hawkins also qualified to run in the July 20 primary and ensuing Nov. 2 general election, which will be for a full, two-year term representing the 9th District, which includes most of Forsyth County.

While Hawkins said he and other Republicans would like to repeal the health care bill, the reality is President Barack Obama could override the veto without a two-thirds majority.

In that vein, Hawkins said there is still a battle to be won through the taxes that would help pay for the program.

“We will always take care of all of our citizens,” he said. “This is your life.

“No one has the right to tell you what you can do and what you can’t do, what insurance you can buy, what insurance you can’t have. Because if they do it to you, just think what they’re going to do to your kids.”

Like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Hawkins said health care reform is something that started off with common sense and ended up as a “Christmas tree of legislation.”

Grant Schmeelk, club president, said Hawkins and other candidates are invited to talk at Rotary about “who they are or an issue,” instead of politics in general.

“Health care is in the news today and nobody understands it really,” he said. “I don’t think anyone takes the time.

“Everybody’s days are going past them too quickly.I don’t think anybody’s really sat down and read the health care bill.”

When he first started his dentistry career, Hawkins said insurance was mainly for major medical events and hospitalization.

“Insurance was something that prevented you from losing your life savings in case of emergency, not something that bought aspirins and birth control pills,” he said.

“If you only focus on what’s going wrong, all you see are bad things and you see no solutions. So we must focus on what we’re doing right and do more of that.”