Discussions with Decision Makers: Rep. AJ McCampbell

What first prompted you to consider running for office?

I was a investigator with the D.A. office and a legislator was trying to move a high school to an area that was going to benefit a big business person that did nothing but bring the school down because the land was only suitable for industrial development. I decided to run against him and it was that that made me decide to represent people in my area.

How will your background help serve you in the Legislature?

I have been a grocery clerk so I’ve worked shift work in the grocery industry. I’ve been a police officer and investigator w/ the D.A. office and also owned some restaurants and night clubs and have also been in the insurance business. That background has given me insight into the gambit of needs in our state and allows me to see not just to see the employer point of view, but also understand how to help the employees. I am able to look at the big picture and their are a lot of strokes that go in to that picture and if we take some of those strokes out then that affects us and the big picture.

What are some of your legislative priorities for next session?

To try and get some truth and advertising in the insurance warranty industry. Insurance companies have language that they are not liable to fully replace. Furthermore, I want to make where judges, sheriff’s and DA’s don’t have to run on a party ticket.

What are some health-related issues important to your district and your constituents

The health industry is important. We have the highest bad healthcare outcomes and its usually because we don’t have people seeing physicians. When doctors leave and go to urban areas they stay there.  We are excited about the Demopolis school to cultivate interest in healthcare and hopefully they can go back to the where they were raised which could be rural areas. We now have people being trained in rural areas that will truly train people who will be staying in Alabama.

What do you think people understand the least about our health care system?

Health outcomes are based on early intervention, early diagnosis and continuous monitoring. I don’t think people understand how important is to go see your doctor on a regular basis. I think the misunderstanding is that physicians do make a good living, but they are like teachers in not getting paid for their true value.

If you could change anything about our state’s health care system, what would it be?

Reimbursement rates and the ability of the practitioners to be the drivers of the care that their patients receive. Have we been smart enough as of state to not politicize Medicaid expansion, then billions of dollars that would have been generated for the number of people covered. We have lost untold billions of dollars because we didn’t expand Medicaid expansion and we politized it and said we didn’t want the money and Obama being the face of it was politized for the wrong reasons.  Healthcare should never be a political issue.

How can the Medical Association – and physicians statewide – help you address Alabama’s health challenges?

Be more vocal within the political arena about the challenges that they are actually facing. The health care industry has to get the average joe on the same side and start advocating for things that will help the average joe which will help carry the message for the things needed in healthcare.

What is the one thing you would like to say to physicians in your district?

Hang in there, the reinforcements are on their way.

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