Another Georgia congressman proposes possible Obamacare replacement

Last week, I looked at U.S. Rep. Tom Price’s bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. His bill includes a section on tort reform authored by Congressman Phil Gingrey, who, like Price, was a physician before entering politics.

Well, Gingrey and Price aren’t the only doctors-turned-congressmen from Georgia. Paul Broun, who represents much of northeast Georgia in Congress, has submitted his own repeal-and-replace bill, the OPTION Act. It caught the attention of Avik Roy, a health-policy blogger for Forbes, who gave it a fairly positive review as “The Tea Party’s Plan for Replacing Obamacare.”

Some of the OPTION (Offering Patients True Individualized Options Now) Act’s provisions are similar to Price’s Empowering Patients First Act. Both provide for repealing the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare; both change the tax treatment of health care to put those buying coverage in the individual market on equal tax footing with people in employer-sponsored plans; and both allow for interstate insurance purchases and ways to let small businesses band together to form larger risk pools.

But whereas Price’s bill includes Gingrey’s tort reform measures and goes farther in establishing risk pools and addressing Medicaid, Broun would leave reforms of malpractice laws and Medicaid to other bills (he has proposed a separate bill to block-grant Medicaid funds to the states). Instead, he focuses on a premium-support model for Medicare, a la the Paul Ryan plan, and would change the law mandating emergency-room care, known as EMTALA. Roy summarizes those changes:

The OPTION Act includes two significant reforms to our charity care system. First, it gives physicians a tax credit (i.e., a subsidy) of between $2,000 and $8,000 a year for engaging in charity care, depending upon the amount of charity care they offer. “Today, I could be put in jail for giving charity care to a Medicare patient for free,” explains Broun. “What we’re doing is we’re taking all of those regulations out of the system.”

Second, it would allow emergency rooms to turn away patients, under EMTALA, that don’t have actual emergencies. “I had the experience of what every ER physician sees in this country,” says Broun, “which is people who aren’t having emergencies using the ER. They should be seeing their regular doctors.” This simple reform could do a lot to ensure that uninsured people with actual emergencies would get treated faster, with better outcomes, than they do today.

One thing is clear: This trio of congressmen with medical backgrounds stand to put Georgia front and center in the health policy debate whether or not the Supreme Court overturns part or all of Obamacare.

– By Kyle Wingfield

176 comments Add your comment

Jack

April 10th, 2012
5:59 am

The doctors know more about healthcare than Obama and Pelosi. The Supremes need to wipe the slate clean to allow a fresh start.

jconservative

April 10th, 2012
6:10 am

Jack the problem with the Supreme Court making a decision is that they do not know any more about health care than Obama and Pelosi.

I see no problem with the national health care policies we had pre-Obamacare. Every person who wanted access to health care was able to obtain it. That is one of the few things Reagan got right.

ByteMe

April 10th, 2012
6:24 am

One thing is clear: This trio of congressmen with medical backgrounds stand to put Georgia front and center in the health policy debate whether or not the Supreme Court overturns part or all of Obamacare.

My Magic 8 Ball says: “The future is murky”

My Magic 8 Ball knows better than Kyle.

Pizzaman

April 10th, 2012
6:25 am

Where were all the great idea’s when the debate was going on 2 yrs ago? Could they be coming to the fore because it’s an election year? BTW Kyle, GA’s not front and center on anything and last in most things.

Road Scholar

April 10th, 2012
6:48 am

conservative: So, you see no problem with annual double digit growth in premiums? No problem with not allowing pre-existing conditions? No problem with not having state health care co-ops that could lower costs?

Pizzaman: Exactly!

What I want to know is what other tax breaks are they going to propose for the 1%!

DeborahinAthens

April 10th, 2012
6:54 am

The Republicans had eight years of total control of the Presidency, the Legislative Branch, and the Judiciary, and they did not enact tort reform–something that is badly needed in this country, and not just for the medical sector. They did nothing. To my knowledge, no one even proposed a bill proposing tort reform. If one factored in the opportunity costs that specious lawsuits suck out of our economy, it would be staggering!! Don’t fall for the Republican’s new found “Healthcare Reform”. These guys have nothing, nothing, nothing! And Broun, who is my Congressman…the man is a certifiable fruitcake. Look up the insane bills this nut has tried to introduce to the House. Even they can stomach him. He gets re-elected because the healthcare industry and the insurance industry give him millions (and he still illegally uses his Franking Privileges because he’s always running out of money). You gotta love these Repugs that have no ideas, cannot manage their own finances telling us that we need to suck it up and let them do what is in our best interest. Idiots all.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
6:57 am

“Where were all the great idea’s when the debate was going on 2 yrs ago? ”

As repeated many times when you tried to deflect from the actual issue LAST time, Pizzaman, they were stuck in Democrat-controlled committees and couldn’t even get a hearing from the wonderful folks who claimed they wanted compromise, yet didn’t deliver on that part of the debate.

keithmullinss

April 10th, 2012
6:59 am

This special program was launched in 2010 and was originally expected to run out of money before it could cover everyone who needed it. But the opposite happened. People with pre-existing conditions either didn’t know about this plan or didn’t care to take part. Less than 20,000 people have signed up across the country. learn at “Penny Health” for your self

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
7:00 am

“The Republicans had eight years of total control of the Presidency, the Legislative Branch, and the Judiciary”

Technically, the Republicans had SIX years of total control of the Legislative Branch, not eight.

And no one controls the Judiciary.

But other than that, you got one out of three right, DeborahinAthens!

Ayn Rant

April 10th, 2012
7:17 am

Great plans from two more politicians who don’t give a damn about health care for all Americans! More deductions for the well-off, more power and profit for the insurance middlemen who provide no medical care, and no more care at all for the families that can’t afford to buy medical insurance or pay the preposterous costs of medical care and patented prescription drugs.

Republican politicians with medical degrees may know how to treat hangnails and broken bones, but they sure as hell don’t know how to administer health care for a nation of 330 million people.

The “plans” are a palliative, not a cure, for what ails American health care.

Wade Hampton

April 10th, 2012
7:25 am

Paul Broun was one of only three patriots who voted against the NDAA of 2012.
.
Good man.
.
Those other two “doctors” are traitors and should be tryed accordingly.

Mary Elizabeth

April 10th, 2012
7:48 am

Paul Krugman, March 18, 2012, “Hurray for Health Reform,” New York Times:

“But the perfect is the enemy of the good; for all its imperfections, this reform would do an enormous amount of good. . .How would ObamaRomneycare change American health care?

For most people the answer is, not at all. In particular, those receiving good health benefits from employers would keep them. The act is aimed, instead, at Americans who fall through the cracks, either going without coverage or relying on the miserably malfunctioning individual, “non-group” insurance market.

The fact is that individual health insurance, as currently constituted, just doesn’t work. If insurers are left free to deny coverage at will — as they are in, say, California — they offer cheap policies to the young and healthy (and try to yank coverage if you get sick) but refuse to cover anyone likely to need expensive care. Yet simply requiring that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions, as in New York, doesn’t work either: premiums are sky-high because only the sick buy insurance.

The solution — originally proposed, believe it or not, by analysts at the ultra-right-wing Heritage Foundation — is a three-legged stool of regulation and subsidies. As in New York, insurers are required to cover everyone; in return, everyone is required to buy insurance, so that healthy as well as sick people are in the risk pool. Finally, subsidies make those mandated insurance purchases affordable for lower-income families.”

“As I said, the reform is mainly aimed at Americans who fall through the cracks in our current system — an important goal in its own right. But what makes reform truly urgent is the fact that the cracks are rapidly getting wider, because fewer and fewer jobs come with health benefits; employment-based coverage actually declined even during the “Bush boom” of 2003 to 2007, and has plunged since.

What this means is that the Affordable Care Act is the only thing protecting us from an imminent surge in the number of Americans who can’t afford essential care. So this reform had better survive — because if it doesn’t, many Americans who need health care won’t.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/opinion/krugman-hurray-for-health-reform.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
8:01 am

“The fact is that individual health insurance, as currently constituted, just doesn’t work.”

Of course, the 85% of Americans who actually have individual health insurance would dispute that opinion, proving once again that Paul Krugman knows about as much regarding the health care industry as he knows about rocket science.

carlosgvv

April 10th, 2012
8:01 am

All western industrailzed countries, except America, have universal health coverage. This means that either they know something we don’t or we know something they don’t. Which do you think is most likely?

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
8:09 am

“All western industrailzed countries, except America, have universal health coverage.”

Yawn. How many times have we heard that one?

“This means that either they know something we don’t or we know something they don’t.”

Actually, it could be that our country was founded on principles of individual liberty and personal responsibility, and that our politicians are limited in what they can provide for Americans at the point of a gun, which is a very good thing.

Thomas More

April 10th, 2012
8:11 am

One simple but effective tort reform: LOSER PAYS. That would put the hacks out of business tomorrow.

AU Liberal in ATL

April 10th, 2012
8:12 am

If Paul Broun is a “good man” and a patriot, I’m Jesus H. Christ!

Cosby

April 10th, 2012
8:28 am

Once again, get the government out of the way and things will improve. The FDA is a prime example and causes more harm than good

HDB

April 10th, 2012
8:29 am

Those who keep pressing for “tort reform” are basically stating that they wish to deny the right of a jury to make decisions..to limit the judgment that a jury has the right to make!! What you’re professing the the denial of the right to seek redress…and that’s not what this nation is founded.

Why do you persist in the thought that a jury can not make an informed decision when presented the facts???

Turner

April 10th, 2012
8:35 am

In Murray County, the hospital partners with Ga. Mountains Health, a non-profit clinic to perform triage at the ER. If the person coming in has an actual emergency, they are treated in the ER. If they don’t, they see Ga. Mountains Health staff for primary care. The savings per patient without an emergency is many hundreds of dollars.

This needs to be standard practice at every ER in the country.

Pizzaman

April 10th, 2012
8:35 am

The actual issue, Tiberius, is what’s good for the entire US population. Not what the 3210 lobbyists want (that’s 6 for every Senator and Congressman!). Both sides are equally at fault. Every President since Wilson in 1917 has tried some sort of health care/ health care reform. Obama care is the only thing we have at present and most of that doesn’t take affect till 2014 so just how are the Repub’s going to fix it when they don’t know how it will work. ANS: They aren’t trying to fix anything. Just get press and re-elected!

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
8:36 am

“Why do you persist in the thought that a jury can not make an informed decision when presented the facts???”

Why do you persist in ignoring the thousands of excessive judgments handed down by juries despite having the facts and ignoring them?

Tort reform is not about denying the plaintiff due process or the right to seek redress, despite the bleating of you and your ilk to make it so. It is an attempt to corral out-of-control juries and lawyers who seek astronomical judgments for nebulous “pain and suffering” over and above the actual cost of treatment.

St Simons - codewords are the new black

April 10th, 2012
8:38 am

hahahahahahaha Paul Broun, Tom Price, and Gingrey. Throw in mine,
Jack Kingston, the pretend dentist.

This is the new face of Georgia, to the outside world.
Yes, that’s laughter you hear.
You don’t really see derision.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
8:38 am

Fron John: “With all the time you waste here (a mind boggling amount, in fact) one would think you’d at least have something original to add once in a while.”

This from the guy who posted: “More useless, meaningless bluster from a Regressive. And I’m not just talking about Kyle.”

It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. . . .

carlosgvv

April 10th, 2012
8:38 am

Tiberius – 8:09

So Canada, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and Germany do not have principles of individual liberty and live at the point of a gun?

Yawn

Same old refusal to give a direct answer to a direct question.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
8:41 am

“The actual issue, Tiberius, is what’s good for the entire US population.”

Except that government has no right to control the actions of the entire US population, Pizzaman.

I know you statists would just love that, but if your idea of “progress” is to restrict my liberty even further, I’ll take “regression” every day of the week.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
8:49 am

“So Canada, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and Germany do not have principles of individual liberty and live at the point of a gun?”

They are not founded on our same principles (you’d know that if you knew our history or theirs), and yes, we have devolved into a society which breeds people who want to take from others that which they have no right to.

Inside Out

April 10th, 2012
8:51 am

Sooo………Tiberius…..if you had surgery and a Quack Dr. left a surgical sponge inside of you…You would be ok with the hospital paying totake it out and throwing you a couple of free checkups as punishment for the Dr.s screwup????

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
8:52 am

“Same old refusal to give a direct answer to a direct question.”

Your inability to understand a direct answer, carlos, does not constitute a failure on my part.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
8:55 am

“Sooo………Tiberius…..if you had surgery and a Quack Dr. left a surgical sponge inside of you…You would be ok with the hospital paying totake it out and throwing you a couple of free checkups as punishment for the Dr.s screwup????”

Yes. Absolutely. The only other thing they’d have to cover is any wages lost due to missing work, and an agreement to cover any follow-up issues that weren’t corrected. Why should I need anything else?

AmVet

April 10th, 2012
8:58 am

All western industrailzed countries, except America, have universal health coverage.

Yep, every last one of them.

That we alone, do not is a deadly travesty.

Welcome to the corporatocracy.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
9:01 am

“That we alone, do not is a deadly travesty.”

Or a sign that we’re still the last hope of freedom for the world.

Inside Out

April 10th, 2012
9:03 am

Sooo that Dr. does not deserved to be punished for endagering a life??? Should he be tried criminally since you do not wish to see him punished in a civil court???

Just saying..

April 10th, 2012
9:05 am

Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!
April 10th, 2012
8:01 am
“…Paul Krugman knows about as much regarding the health care industry as he knows about rocket science.

But he does appear to know something about having his opinions widely read…

UGA 1999

April 10th, 2012
9:06 am

Any replacement would be better than ObamaCare.

Outside In

April 10th, 2012
9:11 am

Hey, inside, docs are punished all the time by state boards. They get penalties that cost them money. Next question.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
9:12 am

“Sooo that Dr. does not deserved to be punished for endagering a life???”

“Punished”? No. But his malpractice premiums will certainly go up if he continues the poor performance, thereby reducing his income and hopefully urging him to do better.

“Should he be tried criminally since you do not wish to see him punished in a civil court???”

No. Unless he deliberately left that in me in an attempt to harm me. What you members of the victim society just don’t get is that in the real world, people make mistakes. As long as they correct them, I’m fine with that. I don’t need your pound of flesh retributions.

AmVet

April 10th, 2012
9:14 am

Tens of thousands of American men, women and children – especially elderly women and children – die needlessly every year with this debacle of a perverted system.

Tens of thousands more go bankrupt every year due to catastrophic medical expenses.

This inept bureaucracy waste more than $300 billion per year in fraud and abuse.

And the biggest kicker?

In 2008 we spent $7,129 per capita on health care—more than twice as much per capita as the rest of the industrialized world.

What a tragic joke.

Just saying..

April 10th, 2012
9:16 am

Within one week, two Republican plans to fundamentally change health care in America published by Kyle. Which indicates:

A) The existing way the country was doing health care won’t continue
and
B) After Obamacare, American healthcare will never be the same.

Sometimes, people need to be prodded.

UGA 1999

April 10th, 2012
9:18 am

Just saying…so lets just leave it alone!

O House Dawg

April 10th, 2012
9:20 am

“So Canada, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and Germany do not have principles of individual liberty and live at the point of a gun?”

“They are not founded on our same principles (you’d know that if you knew our history or theirs), and yes, we have devolved into a society which breeds people who want to take from others that which they have no right to.”

Ever heard of the Magna Carta. You passed by it in the National Archives before seeing the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
Also there is the Enlightment period thought and literature to which Jefferson and Franklin contributed.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
9:20 am

“Tens of thousands of American men, women and children – especially elderly women and children – die needlessly every year with this debacle of a perverted system.”

And yet that left-wing mantra has been debunked time after time after time, yet continues to be repeated.

“In 2008 we spent $7,129 per capita on health care—more than twice as much per capita as the rest of the industrialized world.”

Which means nothing in the statistical world if you don’t look at the whys, rather than just the raw numbers. Which probably explains why liberals to love to quote the numbers so much. Thoughtful analysis isn’t really in their wheelhouse.

carlosgvv

April 10th, 2012
9:22 am

Tiberius

1. I know our history and theirs better than you ever will. Their people have every bit as much liberty and freedom as we do.
2. We both know the answer to the question. The Governments of these countries, unlike ours, are not bought and paid for by Big Business. Therefore, they can put the medical needs of their people above the profit needs of their corporations.
3.Being the good Republican tool you are, I know you’ll never be able to openly admit this.

Inside Out

April 10th, 2012
9:22 am

Tibs…according to your logic, A drunk driver did not crash his car into traffic on purpose…He should not be punished…. The lady the hits a biker while she is texting…..It was just an accident….. And teh state boards are intrested in protecting the profession…Not the ones that have been harmed….. Wait…I thought you righties were all about making folks accountable for their own actions??? Dr. Feel Good is guilty of malpractice, MAKE HIM DEAL WITH THE FALLOUT!!!!!!

ragnar danneskjold

April 10th, 2012
9:23 am

Suspect these sound proposals will go nowhere with those politicians whose desire is merely to control the lives of others. Dr. Sowell today: “Whatever the ideology or rhetoric of the political left, their agenda around the world has been preempting other people’s decisions and regimenting their lives.”

HDB

April 10th, 2012
9:23 am

Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
8:36 am

“Why do you persist in ignoring the thousands of excessive judgments handed down by juries despite having the facts and ignoring them?”

The jury made the judgment based on the facts presented and the redress for the damages they saw evidenced. What you who are on the outside may feel as excessive, the JURY saw as just and fair. Conservatives persist in lauding the judicial system when judgments fit their desires…and criticize it when they don’t!!

So you’re basically saying that juries are incapable of making a just decision????

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
9:23 am

“Ever heard of the Magna Carta. ”

Yeah. Ever hear of Socialism? The Brits embraced that concept long ago when they FORGOT the basics of the Magna Carta.

Jefferson

April 10th, 2012
9:24 am

Because of how GA legislators in the recent past have performed, their ideas will have little credibility among Americans. You should worry about 1st impressions.

carlosgvv

April 10th, 2012
9:25 am

Tiberus

45,000 people die each year for lack of medical insurance, according to Reuters and CBS News. Of course you have proof this is just left-wing mantra, right?

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
9:26 am

“So you’re basically saying that juries are incapable of making a just decision????”

Yes and no. Yes, they are capable of making a just decision as to whether someone was harmed. No, they are not capable of making a just decision on actual compensation. Too many people these days are guided by their feelings and not by the facts around them.