Kevin Abel

Occupation: Founder, Abel Solutions

Kevin Abel

Previous experience holding elected offices: None

Other community service experience: Vice-Chair, New American Pathways; Chairman, Small Business Council, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; Board of Directors, Davis Academy; Board of Councilors, Carter Center; Leadership Atlanta Class of 2006

Why should voters choose you for this position?

I’m an immigrant to this country and I have been so fortunate to live the American dream, but I’m afraid that dream is unavailable to so many, and will be even less accessible for future generations. I’ve been deeply involved in the civic and community life of the district for 26 years, built and sold a business, and raised a family. I believe that I am the strongest candidate to take on Karen Handel in November and that with my pragmatic, business-minded approach I can win the independent voters we’ll need to win this election.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it?

Access to affordable healthcare is the single biggest issue facing not just our district, but our country. President Trump has purposefully undermined healthcare markets and caused numerous providers to pull out of the marketplace right here in Georgia. The ACA was a great starting place, but as with any legislation, it has room for improvement. We need to reinstate the individual mandate, continue to promote Medicaid expansion, allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, and expand the use of Accountable Care Organizations, which incentivize providers to measure outcomes based on quality of results and not quantity of care delivered.

The opioid drug addiction epidemic has been a major issue in the district and nationwide. What strategy do you believe the federal government should pursue to reduce or end the opioid epidemic?

We need to treat the opioid epidemic, and drug addiction in general, like the public health crises that they are. The single biggest obstacle to addressing this issue is lack of access to affordable and comprehensive care, which prevents people who suffer from this disease from accessing the treatment they need. We also need to address the over-prescription of highly addictive painkillers and punish pharmaceutical companies and doctors who irresponsibly push and prescribe these drugs beyond their necessity in order to increase profits.

Do you believe Congress should authorize such military action as President Trump’s recent military strikes in Syria, and how would you have voted in this case?

America cannot be the world’s police force, but we cannot sit idly by as despots gas their own populations. I would vote to take precise and targeted action, in concert with our international partners, against the Syrian regime to send a message that the world community will not tolerate these horrific crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Assad regime.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.