Join Us on Social Media

VQH Forum 1-Congressman Tom Price (prev. pub)

By Tim Hannigan

IMG_0291The 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:

  • Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA)
  • Delegate Mark Berg, M.D. (R-VA 29th District)
  • Hadley Heath, Senior Policy Analyst, Independent Women’s Voice
  • C.L.Gray, M.D., Physicians for Reform
  • Grace-Marie Turner, President, Galen Institute

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 Tom Price, MD

Congressman Tom Price (R-GA), M.D.

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.

Forum Moderator Tom McDevitt (on the right) with panel members Hadley Heath, Mrk Berg, and Grace-Marie Turner (left to right).

Forum Moderator Tom McDevitt (on the right) with panel members Hadley Heath, Mrk Berg, and Grace-Marie Turner (left to right).

The two major shortcomings of pre-Obamacare health insurance were lack of portability and limited, if any, support for people with pre-existing conditions.

  • Alternatives to Obmacare must NOT require people to give up their health insurance when they change companies. Having to change health insurance when one moves from one company to another is an “old era” concept that makes no sense for people who can expect to change employers 10-15 times during their working careers. Only employers and the Government benefits from this antiquated approach. People should be able to take their health insurance with them from company to company, just like a 401K account.
  • The health insurance pools for the 18 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are too small to handle these risks. These 18 million Americans should be allowed to be part of larger health insurance pools where their risks would be diluted among more healthy people.

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:

  • Eric Cantor House Majority Leader Wikipedia Photo

    Eric Cantor
    House Majority Leader
    Wikipedia Photo

    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.

  • Medicaid is a disaster going broke. New Medicaid sign-ups are not part of the Obamacare figures being reported by the Government. The real issue with the Government-reported figures for Obamacare is how many people previously had health insurance.
  • Healthcare is not an inalienable right. When he speaks to schools, Congressman Price offers $100 to the first person who can find the first mention of healthcare in the Constitution. Patients need to be in charge of their healthcare, not the Government, which is usually just looking for more power or the financial bottom line. The last thing we need is Government running healthcare!

You can see the video / audio of Congressman Price’s presentation here. Also, you can visit Congressman Price’s website.