In the News

PANAMA CITY, Fla - Republicans first attempt to repeal Obamacare fell short last month, but the battle is about to heat up again, according to Congressman Neal Dunn.

Dunn sat down with News 13's Tom Lewis on Thursday to discuss healthcare and a host of other topics on our segment "First Person."

Tom: "You and I grew up in the shadow communism. We always thought that Russia was the "evil empire", to quote president Reagan. And then the curtain falls and everyone thinks Russia is our friend now. And now all of a sudden we've got new tensions."

Neal: "Russia actually, with a few exceptions time-wise, a few interruptions in time, they've been a pretty bad actor for the last 70 or 80 years if you really think back on it. We have managed to work with them, more or less as allies in World War II. And then for that brief little period of time after the wall fell down. I remember that well, 'cause I was part of that peace dividend. We were not going to need the army any more supposedly. Six months of peace we had., six months at that time. you're right Russia is a problem now. That's one of the flash points of the world. Along with North Korea. We need to be attentive to these things."

Tom: "You mentioned Korea. Let's talk about that, that's another problem."

Neal: "So in Korea we have to work with the other Great Powers in that region. That means China at first. And Japan, South Korea very obviously as well. And China has the most, closet relationship with North Korea. And the most pressure they can bring to bear. If we get China interested in helping the rest of the world bring North Korea into a much more normal nation-state posture. So they're not pulling the trigger all the time. We need to get them there because at anyone moment they could launch nuclear weapons. And they don't have the range yet, we think, for the United States. But certainly for Japan, South Korea which is right next door."

Tom: "Let's shift gears, let's talk about health care. The repeal of Obamacare of course fell short. And a lot of people said that we a plan in place if we're going to pull that plan off the table. Where do we stand?"

Neal: "I think we did actually. So the repeal and replace is the mature intelligent thing to do. And we had a great plan going forward. Now there are people who want to tune that up and say we fell short on the vote there. That's a disappointment. It's just a delay. It's not a deterrent. We're not going to fail to address that. We have to. It's going to bankrupt us we don't. And the thing that's interesting is while this only covers seven percent of the population on the exchanges, it affects all of the insurance products in the country, Medicare, Medicaid. And the normal insurance you get through your employers. That all of those are being bankrupted by that solution by the seven percent. And so then we will take that back up again. I predict we'll be taking it up again about Tuesday. So very quickly. Over the course of the break there's been a lot of conversations in some of the Congressmen that had objections have predicted that there will be a breakthrough very shortly. I take that as good news."

Tom: We'll look for that that's for sure."

Earlier this week Congressman Dunn introduced the secure equity in airline transportation or "Seat Act", to prevent airlines from bumping passengers off an over-booked flight if the passenger has already boarded. The bill is a response to last week's United Airlines incident.