By David Cohen MANAGING EDITOR AJT Tom Price with the AJTs Cliff Weiss

U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, Tom Price visited the Atlanta Jewish Times office in Sandy Springs Friday. He has been Georgia’s 6th district representative since 2004. We got a chance to ask Congressman Price a few questions about Georgia, Israel and Healthcare Reform. Here is what he had to say:

AJT: You were a cosponsor of the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012. Why is it important for the United States to support Israel?

Tom Price: “The United States knows no greater ally than Israel. Our two nations share a strong strategic and historic relationship built on shared values of freedom and democracy. It is imperative that we remain steadfast in our commitment to the people of Israel and in support of efforts to secure a lasting peace in the Middle East.”

AJT: Will the August 26th Israeli-Palestinian cease fire hold?

TP: “History has taught us that there can be no guarantee that a cease fire or a peace process will be successful. Our hope is that there can be an end to the violence that threatens further instability and loss of life. The people of Israel and their leaders – who have every right to defend themselves – have demonstrated remarkable restraint and given fair warning to Hamas even while terrorists fired rockets indiscriminately into Israel. Hamas meanwhile has sought to increase violence and foment unrest. As some of my friends in Israel say about cease fires: Israel ceases, Hamas fires.  A cease fire will hold and the peace process can be rejuvenated if Israel is able to find a partner among the Palestinian people committed to peace and willing to reject the terrorists aims of Hamas and their stated goal of eliminating Israel.”

AJT: Georgia’s 6th district encompasses most of the Northern Suburbs of Atlanta including East Cobb, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs. What is the biggest change you’ve seen since you started representing the area 10 years ago?

TP: “It’s such an honor and a privilege to represent the Sixth District of Georgia. Our community is filled with hard working, entrepreneurial people and families committed to building a strong community. The 6th District has become wholly suburban, as opposed to partially suburban and some rural area when I began my representation.  Ten years ago the sky was the limit from an economic standpoint for our area. Due to the recession and Washington responses that impede vibrant growth and job creation, I now represent many folks who are concerned about the very future of our great country. While I share those concerns, I know that the opportunities we have can be expanded and we can get things back on track by adhering to fundamental principles and with the positive involvement of all.”

AJT: You worked as an orthopedic surgeon for almost twenty years. How have you used that experience to improve healthcare in the United States?

TP: “Absolutely. At the center of our health care system is the doctor-patient relationship. Having spent over 20 years caring for patients, I learned firsthand how important it is that we protect that relationship. The focus of my efforts has been to be certain that patients, families, and doctors are able to make medical decisions, not Washington DC. All the principles of health care we hold dear – affordability, accessibility, quality, innovation, choices and responsiveness – are best served when there is a strong, trusting doctor-patient relationship.”

AJT: Your current project, House Resolution 2300 aims to bring more patient centered solutions to the healthcare industry. Is Healthcare reform your top priority right now?

TP: “Prior to the passage of the president’s health care law, we had a health care system that was not working as well as it could or should to address the needs of patients and their doctors. That is why we put forth positive solutions going back to the beginning of the debate over Obamacare. However, the healthcare law is simply the poster child for a Washington mindset that says ‘We know best’. This harms our economy, makes a responsible energy policy impossible, refuses to allow needed tax reform, and results in a regulatory scheme that stifles job creation and holds back entrepreneurial solutions. We must have a broader set of priorities which include helping our economy growth stronger and more Americans find greater opportunity and security for themselves and their families.”

Thanks again to Rep. Price for taking the time to come in and speak with us. For more information on his current projects and resolutions visit his website: http://tomprice.house.gov/