Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - Updated: 1:02 AM
Congressman James Comer met with locals last week during a town hall meeting at the Lyon County Courthouse, spending about an hour of the hour and a half session addressing health care concerns.
Comer stopped at the courthouse as one of several visits around western Kentucky to meet with constituents and listen to their concerns. Comer -- former Kentucky agriculture commissioner -- was elected to the first congressional district last November, replacing long-time statesman Ed Whitfield.
Members of the community said they were concerned about healt care, while Comer spoke on the need to reduce regulations for banks and companies.
Much of the April 11 discussion revolved around health care. Comer said lawmakers are discussing solutions.
"It's a problem. It's gotten too expensive," Comer said. "Health care needs to be patient-centered, not physician-centered."
Comer said health care didn't need to be "turned over" to lawmakers to be fixed, but that "the government has to watch health insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies."
Comer said reforms in drug company regulation could have significant positive impacts on health care costs.
Comer also spoke on national tax reform plans which will be shaped in coming months.
"One of the increases in revenue that [Sen.] Paul Ryan proposed, and [President] Donald Trump has kind of talked about was the border adjustment tax, which is a form of a tariff. I want to know if that effects any of the businesses in the first congressional district."
Comer cited local companies that produce vehicles and other products that import parts and raw goods from other countries that could face higher costs if tariffs are put in place.
Comer said he had attended meetings in Calloway County the night before stopping in Eddyville.
He was scheduled to visit Trigg County the following day. He said he plans to visit all 35 counties of the First Congressional District during coming months.
"I want to do this on a regular basis," Comer said. "If there's anything my office can do to be of assistance to your county to help you recruit industry here. If there's legislation that would have a negative impact on a business in your district, I want to know that."
Lyon County Judge- Executive Wade White introduced Comer to the the crowd.
White said the congressman has always given his constituents time to talk.
"I went to visit him three or four times after he became the [agriculture] commissioner," White said. "Talking about economic issues or whatever. He would allow us to come in, sit down and there was no time limit. He would listen to us. Always there for you, and I appreciate that a whole lot.
"He wants to be involved in the things we do here, and I appreciate that."
To contact Amelia Wilson, Comer's representative, email amelia.wilsonemail.house.gov.