However court rules, Price ready with alternative to Obamacare

When the Supreme Court last week heard arguments in the 26-state legal challenge to Obamacare, Georgia was well-represented. There was Sam Olens, who as our attorney general is one of the plaintiffs. And there was Tom Price, a leader in the effort to repeal and/or replace the law, however the justices rule.

“It was really uplifting, actually,” Price, a fourth-term congressman from Roswell and the fifth-ranking Republican in the House, said in a phone interview. “I think [the justices] were giving it the serious consideration that it warrants.”

Price, who previously practiced medicine, not law, stopped just short of predicting the outcome: “My suspicion is this will be ruled unconstitutional, but I’m not a court watcher so that may be more hope than fact.” Either way, he’s ready.

As he did months before Obamacare was passed, Price has introduced the Empowering Patients First Act. It’s a more market-oriented approach to fixing what ails American health care.

Price’s updated bill begins by repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, in case the Supreme Court leaves all or part of it intact. Then it moves on to correct the inequity in the way tax law treats health insurance. Individuals who buy their own insurance would get the same tax deduction as employer-sponsored plans.

Low-income Americans could receive the tax benefit as a credit both refundable — meaning they’d get it even if they didn’t pay income tax — and advanceable — meaning it could be paid directly to the insurer, rather than the insured person fronting the money. It would also allow people to opt out of government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare and receive a tax credit toward a private plan.

Missing is a legal requirement to buy health insurance, just incentives that mean “you’d be foolish to not get covered,” Price said.

Next, the bill tackles two other problems: portability and pre-existing conditions. Regarding the former, Price said his bill “makes it so that everybody owns their health coverage regardless of who’s paying for it — your employer, the government, or you. If you change or lose your job, you just take it with you. Losing your health insurance when you change your job, when the employer is using your money out of your paycheck, just doesn’t make sense.”

For pre-existing conditions, the bill again mimics the advantages now given only to big employers. It allows states, small businesses and other entities (e.g., churches or trade associations) to form risk pools large enough that people with chronic health problems won’t be turned away.

“The vast majority of high-risk pools at the state level don’t work, because you take all the sickest people and throw them in a pool and — surprise, surprise — their costs are greater,” he said. “We believe any individual ought to be able to access a pool of millions of people.”

In doing so, the bill “would create a market for a new product that doesn’t exist now because it’s against the law to do what we propose to do.”

Another key element of the bill is a tort reform authored by Phil Gingrey, another Georgia doctor-turned-congressman.

Price said defensive medicine — procedures doctors order to avoid being sued — accounts for a quarter of U.S. health costs, or some $600 billion a year. To reduce that figure, the bill proposes administrative health courts in which experts and specialized judges handle malpractice claims. It also creates a “safe harbor” for doctors who follow industry-standard guidelines for treating a particular ailment.

To allay concerns tort reform is up to the states, not Washington, the bill limits the safe harbor provision to patients with a “nexus with the federal government.” That means they are covered by a federal program (Medicare, the military’s Tricare, etc.) or a big employer whose plan is governed by the federal ERISA law.

“That gets you about 85 percent of the population or even more,” Price said. “So we believe that in and of itself would change the dynamic, and make it such that states could adopt fill-in measures.”

Democrats often claim GOP opponents of Obamacare offer no alternative. Price’s bill dispels that notion. He has little confidence Democrats will now entertain his 32-month-old bill. But …

“That’s not to say, if the Supreme Court throws it out, there couldn’t be a change of heart,” Price allowed, “and I would welcome that with open arms.”

– By Kyle Wingfield

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210 comments Add your comment

Joel Edge

April 5th, 2012
6:31 am

“He has little confidence Democrats will now entertain his 32-month-old bill.”
Smart man.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

April 5th, 2012
6:32 am

However court rules, Price ready with alternative to Obamacare
5:09 am April 5, 2012, by Kyle Wingfield
———————–

The alternative to Obozocare is freedom.

ragnar danneskjold

April 5th, 2012
6:43 am

That sounds like a pretty good set of reforms – why did the democrats not do something so rational?

mountain man

April 5th, 2012
6:48 am

So what if a person decides not to buy insurance even though “you’d be foolish to not get covered,”?

It probably is still cheaper to go without insurance than use the tax credit, especially if you make more than $50,000 per year (a good portion of “free riders” make more than that).

Are you still going to allow them to go to the hospital and make the rest of us pay for their care through our higher insurance bills?

Let’s hear the answer, Tom Price.

GDRLA

April 5th, 2012
6:51 am

WHY were these proposals done BEFORE the health care act was passed? If they are so great why did it take most of my lifetime to get something like the HCA into effect? As someone with a pre-existing condition & uninsurable most of my life I take a dim view of these AFTER THE FACT fixes. If they are so valid and necessary to the ‘free market’ they should have been in place long ago.

Having read a great deal of the HCA it has problems but it can be repaired, adjusted, fixed, etc., just as many of our laws undergo adjustments after their passages. SCOTUS may or may not overturn all or part of the act but if they overturn it it will be a conservative Republican example of Judicial Activism.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

April 5th, 2012
7:00 am

mountain man: Let’s hear the answer, Tom Price.
——————————-

Caring liberals will form a charity to provide health care for the “less fortunate”.

How much did you donate to the cause of health care for all last year?

Didn’t think so.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

April 5th, 2012
7:01 am

GDRLA: As someone with a pre-existing condition & uninsurable most of my life
——————–

Who should be paying for your health care?

ByteMe

April 5th, 2012
7:06 am

“That gets you about 85 percent of the population or even more,”

Hmm… 310 million people at last count. 15% of that is… 46 million people. Isn’t that how many were not covered by health care insurance before the debate started?

Ronnie Raygun

April 5th, 2012
7:10 am

“He has little confidence Democrats will now entertain his 32-month-old bill.”

Give me a break. If the Democrats ever do support it, the Republicans will deride it as freedom hating socialism, just like they are doing with all of the Republican ideas that make up 90% the Affordable Care Act.

Don't Tread

April 5th, 2012
7:24 am

Don’t you know Obama will be upset when the Court rules Obamacare unconstitutional. After all, he DID tell them that they had no business doing so. Blah, blah, blah.

That being said, a personal tax deduction for buying health insurance IS constitutional. However, Democrats don’t like it because a) they can’t gain control of 1/7 of the economy that way, and b) they want to control other people’s money, and tax deductions don’t help with that. (The “health care” issue is really all about *control* and not health care).

These power hungry people need to be kicked out of office, quickly. I personally don’t care to repeat German history (1932 – 1939) in this country.

Wade Hampton

April 5th, 2012
7:34 am

Sounds like some good ideas but…………………………….
Tom Price and Phil Gingrey BOTH signed the NDAA 2012.
.
NEVER trust a Traitor.
Just try them.

xdog

April 5th, 2012
7:35 am

“the bill proposes administrative health courts”

Death courts!

I’m surprised at you Kyle.

Fed Up With Republicans

April 5th, 2012
7:35 am

Mr. Price – how much did your health care cost you last year. Just another repugnant idea to screw over the needy and the Seniors. You, old man, are getting to be a pain just like the rest of your repugnant buddies. Contrary to what you and your buddy Fran Millar may think, we are satisfied with Hank Johnson and don’t want you representing us. Repugnants – two kinds – millionaires and suckers – to which category do you belong? Both of them. Pay for your insurance coverage before you start running your mouth.

Jeffw

April 5th, 2012
7:35 am

Lil Barry Bailout(oh btw the Wall St Bailout was BUSH’s BAILOUT): if you read what Tom Price said, he thinks TAXPAYERS(aka HARD WORKING SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS) should pay for the pre-existing conditions by way of taxpayer sponsored, government backed(conservative speak for government run) risk pools. Under ObamaCare, FOR-PROFIT HEALTH insurance corporations, who tell us 24×7x365 that they are better than the government wouild pay for it. That’s who I want to pay for the costs of pre-existing conditions: for-profit health insurers shareholders&employees who don’t sell anything to growing emerging markets. They don’t grow the pie. They only take from it. I want to help HEROIC small business owners who DO grow the pie by selling to overseas emerging markets. That’s how we grow our economy.

ByteMe

April 5th, 2012
7:43 am

He has little confidence Democrats will now entertain his 32-month-old bill. But …

I have little confidence the Republican majority in the House will entertain it either, considering they haven’t put the bill out for a full vote yet, have they? Or are they still in the minority and can’t bring bills to the floor for a vote in the House?

curious

April 5th, 2012
7:46 am

Don’t Tread

What happened in Germany 1932-1939? I know Hitler was in power from 1933-1945. Maybe I need to read my history book some more.

Johns creek

April 5th, 2012
7:47 am

why is having health insurance believed to be such a good thing? health insurance companies are ripoff artists, and for the great majority of people it is not cost effective. Most of us will see little benefit from health insurance, and pay way too much for it. Put the money in a Roth Ira, which you can use to cover medical costs should you need to, and you will be far better off.

The ripoff that needs to be fixed is doctors and hospitals charging different people different amounts for medical care. That is discriminatory. Medical providers should be required to charge everyone the same amount, with no exceptions!

bull sitting

April 5th, 2012
7:48 am

Again, another plan that allows people to avoid taking PERSONEL RESPONSIBILITY for their medical care, how long will republications foster this nanny-state idea Romney care must stand!

jconservative

April 5th, 2012
7:54 am

“Low-income Americans could receive the tax benefit as a credit both refundable — meaning they’d get it even if they didn’t pay income tax — and advanceable — meaning it could be paid directly to the insurer, rather than the insured person fronting the money.”

If the government is going to hand out money, this plan becomes just another government entitlement.

There is nothing wrong with the health care system we have/had before the passage of the Health Care Act. Everyone who wants to receive medical care was/is able to get medical care from any hospital in the country.

Since the passage, and the signing into law by President Reagan, of the The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 hospitals are required to provide care to anyone needing emergency health care regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions.

This plan has worked successfully for 26 years. Why change?

curious

April 5th, 2012
8:01 am

Next time you need a hip replacement to enable you to work, go to your local ER and see what you get.

Ayn Rant

April 5th, 2012
8:10 am

Price has some good ideas, but not a firm grasp of the problem. Affordable health care insurance won’t work unless the insurance pool is very large, as large as everyone in the USA, the healthy and the sick. Insurance providers cannot offer coverage for pre-existing conditions if freeloaders can enroll only when they need medical care. And the cost of health care insurance cannot be contained so long as freeloaders get free medical care at emergency clinics. The “mandate” is necessary and indispensible.

Lawyers and health care insurers are unnecessary financial burdens onUS health care. Neither provides any medical care or eases the suffering of patients. Price does offer “tort control” to limit the lawyers, but he keeps private insurers as middlemen between patients and medical care providers.

Price does not address the outrageous cost of prescription drugs under patent. He fails to give the government health care programs like Medicare the right to negotiate drug prices. He fails to ban consumer advertising of patented prescription drugs, which are not competitively traded or available for direct consumer purchase.

Price’s plan will be opposed by his Republican colleagues because it provides some financial assistance to working people. It should be opposed by the Democrats because it caters to the health care insurance racket and the pharmaceutical drug lobby.

Overall, the Romney/Obama plan is better. Substituting a “public option” for insurance exchanges, and “binding arbitration” for lawyers, would make the Romney/Obama approach as perfect as an American health care plan can ever be.

AU Liberal in ATL

April 5th, 2012
8:15 am

Freedom. How can so few fail to understand the meaning of the word? The kind of freedom those tea party nuts are espousing leaves everyone on their own. No taxes equal no police, no streets or interstate roads, no clean water, no fire department, etc, etc, etc…..Let those morons take over our government and we cease to exist.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 5th, 2012
8:23 am

“WHY were these proposals done BEFORE the health care act was passed?”

They were proposed during the health care debate, GDRLA, but the Democrat-controlled House and their Democrat-controlled committees wouldn’t let any GOP proposals even get a hearing at the committee level.

jconservative

April 5th, 2012
8:24 am

curious 8:01 am
“Next time you need a hip replacement to enable you to work, go to your local ER and see what you get.”

curious, your opinion of doctors is pretty low.

I know someone who actually had that done, complete hip replacement. They fell, broke the hip, and went to the emergency room. No insurance but no that was no problem. They had the hip replacement surgery done by the most experienced local orthopedic surgeon. They spent three months in physical therapy after the surgery. All “pro bono” as the lawyers say.

A year later they are doing fine. They are not back to “normal”; after complete hip replacement nothing will ever be normal again.

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986, a product of a Democratic House, a Republican Senate and a Republican president.

carlosgvv

April 5th, 2012
8:26 am

“more market-oriented approach”

Translation – It continues to protect the obsene profits of the medical industry at the expense of the American people.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 5th, 2012
8:27 am

“just like they are doing with all of the Republican ideas that make up 90% the Affordable Care Act.”

DNC talking points aside, just because one (or even a handful) of Republicans call for a particular program to be implemented, doesn’t make it a “Republican” idea.

Political deflection is what you are engaging in, Ronnie.

RAMZAD

April 5th, 2012
8:32 am

Kyle, you have become a good little water bucket for Repugnant propaganda. Somebody has to do it and the bills have to be paid. I totally understand.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 5th, 2012
8:34 am

“No taxes equal no police, no streets or interstate roads, no clean water, no fire department, etc, etc, etc”

What was it Romney said about the current Disaster-in-Chief’s speech the other day? Something on the order of “He railed against proposals no one has made . . . .”

AU Liberal needs to UNDERSTAND what some Republicans and Tea Party members ACTUALLY CALL FOR, not what his mind-numbing liberal masters tell him.

curious

April 5th, 2012
8:39 am

J conservative

The Doctor should be commended.

I suppose the hospital, support staff, medical appliance provider, and physical therapy folks also provided that pro-bono service. If they did, I would wager they just jacked up their bill to the paying customers to make up the difference.

Thank you for paying (I did, too).

Stephenson Billings

April 5th, 2012
8:48 am

I say we get universal gov’t run healthcare…. like in the UK:

83-Year-Old Woman Denied Health Care Over “Carbon Footprint”

“If you want to get a glimpse of what life will be like under Obamacare, just look to the UK, where government-run health care continues to produce ludicrous stories like this – a pensioner who had visited the same doctor’s practice for 30 years was told to find a new GP because of concerns over the “carbon footprint” of her 2 mile round trip.

After 83-year-old Avril Mulcahy complained about a doctor, she was told that the practice had a problem over her “green traveling issues” and ordered her to re-register at another practice.”

Finn McCool (Class Warfare = Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 5th, 2012
8:48 am

people with chronic health problems won’t be turned away.

I prefer “can’t” to “won’t”. Price’s plan is just wishful thinking.

Stephenson Billings

April 5th, 2012
8:49 am

“In the UK, patients cannot seek private health care without first being referred by a National Health Service GP. This can often take weeks because it is like a lottery attempting to get an NHS appointment. Government-run health care in the United Kingdom is notoriously poor and horror stories about wrong legs being amputated and other medical nightmares are routinely in the news.”

carlosgvv

April 5th, 2012
8:51 am

curious – 8:39

Thank you for pointing out what the cons obviously don’t want to hear.

Cutty

April 5th, 2012
8:52 am

Republicans had complete control of Washington from 2002-2006, if this was so important why wasn’t a bill by Price introduced then? Risk pools, administrative health courts, portability, pre-existing conditions. Sounds a lot like what we have now in ‘Obamacare’ with another name slapped on it.

But hey, ‘you’d be foolish not to get covered.’

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 5th, 2012
8:57 am

“if this was so important why wasn’t a bill by Price introduced then?”

It wasn’t important then.

You don’t really know politics, do you, Cutty?

WOW

April 5th, 2012
8:58 am

A lot of these ideas are good (some are in the ACA), but where in this proposal is there any effort to control cost? Without the mandate there is no cost control, meaning the tax incentives will continue to increase the overall cost of the bill. Everyone knows this, this is why Gingrich, Romney and teh Heritage Foundation were all originally for the mandate. Also there will be those who choose not to get covered and they will continue to use the ER as their primary health care provider, again increasing the amount of government spending on Health Care.

This proposal will be more expensive than Obamacare!

jconservative

April 5th, 2012
9:01 am

curious at 8:39 – ” I would wager they just jacked up their bill to the paying customers to make up the difference.”

I would think you would win the wager.

We can call it the “charity” that Lil’ Barry was talking about earlier.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 5th, 2012
9:07 am

WOW, tort reform will control the costs. Doctors are already on record as saying the run more defensive medicine tests to avoid malpractice suits to the tune of 30% of the cost of healthcare today.

And while Gingrich and the Heritage Foundation may have at one time supported a mandate, Romney has not. At least not at any Federal level. Get off the Santorum / media talking points.

Finn McCool (Class Warfare = Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 5th, 2012
9:09 am

AU Liberal needs to UNDERSTAND what some Republicans and Tea Party members ACTUALLY CALL FOR

That’s right, Republicans aren’t really for smaller government, they just want to shift government around so it only benefits people like them. Proof? Eight years of W. Government didn’t get smaller – and Republicans controlled both houses during 6 of those years.

Finn McCool (Class Warfare = Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

April 5th, 2012
9:12 am

tort reform? If the doctor amputates your leg by removing the wrong one are you just going to take it on the chin? Give him a pass? Let him off with an “Oh, my bad!”

??

Mistakes have consequences. You remove the consequences, you remove the desire and need to limit mistakes.

Richard

April 5th, 2012
9:12 am

I have another idea (since I’m a solutions guy). Get rid of the fixed dollar amount for copays and make it percentage based.

See, the Obama administration is correct in that health care markets operate differently than others. They just got it wrong as to how. They behave differently because most people don’t pay for the product they’re buying, so they don’t care about price. In turn, doctors/hospitals are free to raise prices as much as they want without any backlash from customers.

Let’s say your copay is $20. Do you care if the doctor charges $100, $200 or $500? Do you even know? If the copay was 10%, you’d be looking at $10, $20, or $50 for the same doctors. Maybe you’d care a bit more. Maybe the doctors would find ways to lower their prices.

The way insurance is structured, doctors have no incentive to compete on price. It is the opposite of a free market system.

Bobby

April 5th, 2012
9:13 am

While not a Price fan, if he could actually get his fellow GOP legislators to go along with his bill, I would not oppose it replacing Obamacare.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 5th, 2012
9:17 am

“That’s right, Republicans aren’t really for smaller government, they just want to shift government around so it only benefits people like them.”

Hyperbole.

“Proof? Eight years of W. Government didn’t get smaller – and Republicans controlled both houses during 6 of those years.”

And they paid for it, Finn, by being ousted from control. Just as Democrats did by overreaching when they got into power.

The difference is that it appears for now that Republicans learned from their mistakes. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid clearly have not.

Joe the Prophet

April 5th, 2012
9:22 am

Tom Price..”I have a solution if Romneycare is ruled unconstitutional…”

Barack Obama…”I endorse Tom Price’s solution to Obamacare….”

Republicans…..”The plan sucks…It’s socialist….It’s Muslim….!!!”

Beware America You Will PAY The Price

April 5th, 2012
9:22 am

@Lil’ Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

April 5th, 2012
6:32 am
However court rules, Price ready with alternative to Obamacare
5:09 am April 5, 2012, by Kyle Wingfield
———————–

The alternative to Obozocare is freedom.

********************************************************************

The Price ain’t RIGHT and NEITHER are you.

Joe the Prophet

April 5th, 2012
9:24 am

Tom Price….”I have a solution to Romneycare/Obamacare…”

Barack Obama….”I endorse Tom Price’s solution…”

Republicans….”That solution sucks…!!! It’s Muslim…!!! It’s Socialist….!!!! Keep your Socialist hands off my Medicare…!!!!”…..

Joe the Prophet

April 5th, 2012
9:27 am

Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!

April 5th, 2012
9:17 am
“That’s right, Republicans aren’t really for smaller government, they just want to shift government around so it only benefits people like them.”

Hyperbole.

“Proof? Eight years of W. Government didn’t get smaller – and Republicans controlled both houses during 6 of those years.”

And they paid for it, Finn, by being ousted from control. Just as Democrats did by overreaching when they got into power.

The difference is that it appears for now that Republicans learned from their mistakes. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid clearly have not
========================================
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are not the one’s trying to renegotiate the scheduled sequester budget cuts…….The Ryan budget plan also raises the deficit……..

Evidently getting out in public with Tbags on your head and yellow flags with snakes on them is not the same thing as actually lowering the deficit……

Beware America You Will PAY The Price

April 5th, 2012
9:28 am

@Lil’ Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

April 5th, 2012
7:01 am
GDRLA: As someone with a pre-existing condition & uninsurable most of my life
——————–

Who should be paying for your health care?

************************************************************************

Who should be paying for your mental health care when the day will come and you will GO NUTS hating OBAMA?

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 5th, 2012
9:33 am

“The Ryan budget plan also raises the deficit……..”

Hey, Joe! How long did it take to get to $1.5 trillion in deficits each year?

Answer: DECADES!

How long will it take to get to eliminating the deficit and paying down our debt?

Answer: DECADES!

The difference is that the Ryan plan actually reduces the size of the deficit. The current Disaster-in-Chief has NO PLAN which accomplishes the same thing..

Hillbilly D

April 5th, 2012
9:33 am

Whether you have Obamacare or Price’s proposal, the real winners are the insurance industry. Same ol’, same ol’.