By Tim Hannigan
The grassroots Virginians for Quality Healthcare organization, along with the Independent Womens’ Network and Fairfax Free Citizen, sponsored a forum with five healthcare experts addressing Market Alternatives to Obamacare on May 8 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Old Town in Alexandria, VA.
Over 150 people attended the event. The five healthcare experts who participated in the forum were:
Mr. Tom McDevitt, the Chairman of the Board for The Washington Times, served as the forum moderator.
The Fairfax Free Citizen videoed the event and, in a series of posts over the next several days, will present a summary of each expert’s comments along with the video of his / her remarks.
The first summary and video in this series cover the presentation by Congressman Tom Price, a Republican Congressman from Georgia and a medical doctor himself.
Congressman Price introduced House bill H.R. 2300, Empowering Patients First, which offers a market alternative to Obamacare. Congressman Price was first elected to represent Georgia’s 6th district in November 2004. For nearly 20 years, Congressman Price worked in private practice as an orthopedic surgeon. Before coming to Washington, he returned to Emory University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor and Medical Director of the Orthopedic Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, teaching resident doctors in training.
On the evening of the forum, Congressman Price was delayed leaving Capitol Hill and therefore gave his remarks over a telephone that was broadcast throughout the forum hall.
At the outset of his talk, Congressman Price emphasized the resolve that he and his fellow House Republicans have for repealing and replacing Obamacare, regardless of what is being reported in the media. President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are the chief obstacles to accomplishing that feat.
A better healthcare approach would be one that respects family and doctors to make decisions.
The whole country is currently getting a good education on the adverse outcomes offered by big government, including government-run healthcare.
Congressman Price’s House Resolution (H.R.) 2300, called Empower Patients First, offers “a,” but not necessarily “the,” real solution to providing much improved and more affordable healthcare. Congressman Price proposed HR 2300 as a patient-centered healthcare approach before Congress’s vote on Obamacare in 2010.
This Congress is the third one that has considered this bill, giving lie to President Obama’s routine claim – “If anybody has a better idea, let us know!” – that he would sit down and discuss healthcare alternatives with Republicans if only they had one. The President has not been sincere in his comments.
HR 2300 presents concrete principles – affordability, accessibility, quality, responsiveness, innovation, patient choices – and Obamacare violates all of them. The healthcare approach offered in H.R. 2300 gives every American the opportunity, the financial incentive, and the ability to get the health insurance and healthcare they want for themselves. Unlike Obamacare, it includes no mandates.
The two major shortcomings of pre-Obamacare health insurance were lack of portability and limited, if any, support for people with pre-existing conditions.
Current healthcare practices waste billions of dollars, as much as one-third of the dollars spent on healthcare. For example, many doctors and medical professionals practice “defensive medicine,” meaning they prescribe excessive, unnecessary tests for their patients as a way of protecting themselves in court in case of a lawsuit. Robust lawsuit reform that used standard medical norms as the basis for determining negligence and culpability would go a long way to driving down healthcare costs.
Alternatives to Obamacare should focus on providing health insurance that individuals want, not what the Government wants for those individuals.
In the final analysis, the healthcare debate will revolve around a battle of ideas, and patient-centered healthcare will prevail.
In response to questions, Congressman Price said:
Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have not yet endorsed H.R. 2300. Other Obamacare alternatives have surfaced in the House. The important step for Republicans to take is to coalesce around a single, patient-centered healthcare solution that provides a stark alternative to Government-directed Obamacare.