EBENSBURG – Dr. John Joyce sees an important similarity between his desire to become a United States congressman and the years he has spent as a medical professional.
“I’ve always been interested in politics, and I’ve served people as a doctor for over 26 years,” Joyce said during an interview at Everyday Gourmet in Ebensburg on Monday.
“A part of the Hippocratic Oath talks about serving all human beings, and this is an extension of that service. This is an opportunity to listen to people, as I’ve listened to my patients, and work to problem solve.”
Joyce, one of eight Republicans in the 13th Congressional District field, has used that same oath as a foundation for his pro-life beliefs.
“As a doctor, I’ve taken the Hippocratic Oath very seriously,” Joyce said. “And part of the original translation from Greek, says that I will not perform, assist or facilitate an abortion. I’ve taken that very serious as a professional, and I’ve taken that very serious in my personal life.”
In terms of broader health care, Joyce said he “would work with President (Donald) Trump to completely shred Obamacare,” formally known as the Affordable Care Act.
“We need a fair market system of health care,” Joyce said.
He also discussed the region’s opioid epidemic, calling for “faith-based rehabilitation” as a tool to help those dealing with addiction.
“People need to be able to understand that they haven’t been able to face this on their own,” Joyce said. “That families can’t solve these problems. That rehabilitation centers don’t solve them.
“They need to find the resources from within and from God to be able to face those.”
Joyce got into the race late and has been campaigning for only about two months.
“I’ve learned that I enjoy listening to people’s political opinions, even when they’re different than mine,” Joyce said.
“That’s something that, when you sit at family tables and you discuss things, often you try to find a common ground. I’ve been able to listen to people, and hear their problems and respect people.”
Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.