Former HME triumphs
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - An appearance on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and "positive" discussions with fellow lawmakers put Congressman-elect David Davis, R-Tenn., on track for spreading "the homecare message."
"I heard over and over in Washington that we have to look at our social programs and health care falls under that," said Davis. "I think they are looking for people that have a fresh set of eyes and a healthcare background because it's such a large part of our budget."
The four-term state representative bucked a national trend toward electing Democrats, winning his seat in east Tennessee's 1st district with about 64% of the vote. But then, the last time a Democrat held that office was 1880, said Davis.
He sympathizes with HME providers torn between historically pro-business Republicans and pro-health Democrats.
"I think there's some truth to that," said Davis. "As we move into the next Congress, we need to make sure that we keep an eye on the budget and we don't grow government too much. I think a good way to do that is using HME and using home health care."
Davis plans to seek seats on the transportation and small business committees with an eye toward eventually earning a place on the powerful House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health.
Even with the elections over, Davis said providers should stay involved with their local lawmakers. He plans to make the 400-mile trek back to his district most weekends and during recesses.
"Most members of Congress are very accessible if you get to know them," said Davis. "I recommend site visits, or do some ride-alongs to see some real patients. Be involved in fundraising for your member of Congress."
Davis will be sworn in the first week in January.