6 comments

  1. segafamily says:

    Since I’ll never see Tom Price down here in St. Marys, someone ask him if his alternative to the ACA is so all fire good, why hasn’t the House brought it out? I understand it’s been laying around since 2009. Thanks.

    • TheEiger says:

      I guess they should just pass the bill to see what’s in it right because that is better? Maybe you should ask your Congressman down there in St. Marys to sign onto the bill.

  2. This bill has a lot of similarities to Obamacare, including state exchanges (but they call them “portals” because now exchange is a dirty word).

    Some differences:
    The Secretary of HHS is prohibited from using comparative effectiveness or patient-centered outcomes research, to deny coverage of an item or service under a Federal health care program.

    What that means is that if a donor of Tom Price’s campaign makes a surgical device that cost 10x more than another one that is available but is less or equally as effective than the cheaper competitor, the Feds can’t use research to say we’re not paying for the expensive one that isn’t any better.

    Other major notable difference:
    No mandate or preexisting condition mechanism. Sure Price’s plan would spend a comically small amount ($300m) giving to states that set up high risk or reinsurance pools, but if you read the bill there’s no guarantee that there’d be enough money to open up access to everyone that needed/wanted in. And with no mandate, I assume freeloaders will still be able to show up at the hospital when they get sick and then declare bankruptcy when they get the bill.

    I’m not denying that some portion of the uninsured just need to be properly incentivized by the tax code in order to get off their asses and buy insurance. There’s certainly some of that out there, and Price’s method is maybe a little less generous but very similar to Obamacare’s. One difference – Price’s approach would contribute a fixed amount to the total cost, while Obama’s will limit the total expenditure based on income. So if prices are higher than expected, under Price’s plan many of the targets still may not be able to afford the coverage.

    But, while both Price’s bill and the ACA address that portion of the population (albeit in slightly different ways), Price falls short in that he does not do anything about freeloaders (except assume state budgets and charity hospitals will pick up the slack) and he doesn’t really do anything for those with preexisting conditions who currently fall into some sort of gap in the system, absent the $300m for pools which is comically small.

    And finally – if you are a conservative and you support this bill, you aren’t allowed to poke at Obamacare for companies changing their health plans, as the whole point of Price’s bill is to encourage companies to move their employees from the company plan to individual plans, something that’s been happening for years anyway and will also happen to some extent under the ACA.

  3. segafamily says:

    Chris: Thank you for the detailed reply. It still seems somewhat fishy the plan has never seen the light of day.

    TheEiger: St. Marys, GA is Exit 1 off I-95, the last stop. Being this far south we don’t see either dollars from Atlanta or Congressmen from Washington often.

    • I’m not naive enough to think Obamacare is perfect. I hope that eventually Republicans (and Democrats) who have good ideas will continue to modify the healthcare system with them. Republicans do have good ideas – many of them are in the bill! But they are paralyzed by the hatred of a President and have abandoned a lot of their common sense and even a lot of their prior ideas once Obama adopted them himself.

      And you’re right about one thing – if there were really a will to do this stuff from the Republicans, they would have done it either on its own before 2009 or as part of one of their numerous repeal bills. But they haven’t. America needs a sane conservative party, our system only really works with two parties competing and living in the same universe. Hopefully the Republicans see the light soon.

      And and one other thing – really the only reason to vote for Romney in 2012 was that the Republicans hatred of Obama was so great that Romney represented the quickest path back to sanity for his party. But that’s negotiating with terrorists. America made the right choice.

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