During his time in the North Carolina House of Representatives, one of the accomplishments of which Ed Hanes is most proud is his work on the expunction bill that removes conviction from an individuals record if they are proven to have been wrongfully convicted – something that didn’t happen before the bill passed.
Now, he wants to work on similar legislation in Congress as the representative of North Carolina’s 6th district.
He’d start with protecting “Obamacare,” the Affordable Care Act.
“I think you have to build on the ACA,” Hanes said. “You can fix what we have, right now, but the truth about it is I think we have to be on a march - marching our constituency in the country towards single-payer. I don't think there's any doubt about that.”
But, he adds, “If people like their health care, they should be allowed to stay where they are.”
The lack of health care some have, Hanes believes, is connected to poverty, at its roots.
“We're still playing a game in Washington, D.C., and even locally where we're convincing people who are not working class – they’re really poor – but we've convinced so many people that they're working class and middle class and the truth about it is that they're poor people and we're making them comfortable with this idea that they don't need to earn any more money,” Hanes said. “We have to give people a working wage.”
Hanes realizes expanding government programs can get expensive.
“We have to get the debt under control, there's no question. We can do - you can do that by not passing irresponsible budgets like the president passed this last go-around,” Hanes said. “Our politicians have to stop being cowards, to be quite honest about it. Every group that has been in office has kicked this can down the road.”
He has faith, though, that our tough problems can be solved.
“In the United States of America, we have proven time and time again, that whenever we put our minds together and decide we want to do something, we might not do it perfectly the first time but we can do it and we will do it,” Hanes said.
Hear more from Hanes in this Your Local Election Headquarters profile from Bob Buckley.