Celebrating Anniversaries

It’s October First, and that means we’re celebrating several one year anniversaries. A year ago today, the federal government was shut down due to a lack of agreement between Republicans and Democrats over a continuing resolution.

We learned that a former Lawrenceville City Councilman named P.K. Martin would mount a challenge to longtime State Senator Don Balfour, and that Michael Williams would primary longtime Forsyth County State Senator Jack Murphy. Both challengers would eventually win their respective primaries in runoffs.

And then, there was this.

Healthcare.gov

That’s right, one year ago today, the Obamacare Insurance Exchanges opened, and a Georgian was apparently the first to be able to sign up.

And on the one year anniversary of healthcare.gov, Georgia Congressman Tom Price issued this statement:

For years, President Obama, his administration and his allies in Washington defended and celebrated Obamacare by making one promise after another to the American people. One year after enrollment began, those promises have been predictably broken. Premiums and out-of-pocket expenses have gone up. Access and choices have gone down due to narrower provider networks. Many Americans have been kicked off the plan they had, losing access to the doctors and hospitals they knew and trusted. American job creators – particularly small businesses – are dealing with the fallout from Obamacare’s regulations that punish job creation and economic growth. In short, the American people are paying more and getting less.

Thankfully, there are solutions to the challenges in our health care system that can both stop the harm being done by Obamacare and fix what has ailed our health care system for years. We can expand access to quality health care by ensuring Americans have the financial wherewithal to purchase the coverage they want for themselves, not that Washington dictates to them. We can solve the challenges of portability and pre-existing conditions by letting folks own their coverage and take it with them even if they change a job or lose a job. By giving individuals and families the opportunity to pool together with others to gain the purchasing power of millions, we can make it so no one is priced out of the market even if they have a bad diagnosis or injury. We can save billions of dollars each year by enacting meaningful lawsuit abuse reform to end the practice of defensive medicine.

Obamacare is putting Washington in charge by breaking promises and undermining the doctor-patient relationship. We can change that with positive solutions that put patients, families and doctors in charge of health care decisions.

An orthopedic surgeon, Price has introduced H.R. 2300, the Empowering Patients First Act, which is an alternative to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Its patient centered provisions would likely become a cornerstone of a replacement to Obamacare should the GOP retake the Senate in November.

5 comments

  1. objective says:

    “By giving individuals and families the opportunity to pool together with others to gain the purchasing power of millions…”
    ummm….for the purchasing power of millions, you’ll need millions of people in the pool…thus a community rating….and this is exactly what the ACA has set up- the largest possible community pools. now, if you’re talking about allowing pools to cross state lines, that may be interesting, although it would most likely eventually lead to a nationwide pool, fully regulated by the federal gov.
    if you were to allow individuals and families to choose their pools, they would certainly keep them small, negating the purchasing power of “millions”. or they would wouldn’t allow anyone families with too many sick people to enter their pool… and thus the self-selection problem would remain. and sick individuals with no family would remain most SOL.

    • Buying across state lines is dumb. For one thing healthcare is primarily a locally purchased option. What it costs to have a heart attack in Manhattan is vastly different from Atlanta, much less from Albany, GA.

      For another – it’s just a feel good talking point to get around state specific mandates that conservatives don’t like. I’ve yet to hear how an insurance market for lyme disease in Connecticut will operate if everyone in Connecticut who doesn’t already have lyme disease can just purchase a Georgia plan that isn’t required to cover it.

      • David C says:

        Yep. Buying across state lines is a short cut so health insurance companies can all HQ in a small state where they can buy off the local legislature so they have minimal regulation–the same way your credit card companies all end up headquartered in Delaware, for example.

  2. NoTeabagging says:

    I won’t belabor all my previously stated comments. But I am will reaffirm I am all for Health Insurance reform. True reform that gives consumer choices and allows consumers to keep their insurance and providers. The current system still allows Insurers to skyrocket your premiums when you do get sick, effectively forcing you to drop. Long term illness sufferers can get dropped if they are sick and have no income or savings for premiums. Reform is needed so you don’t lose insurance or health care once you really need it.

    The system needs to reward the insured with long term policies by giving them lower rates. An incentive to start with a company early and stick with them. This should get younger folks in the system faster.

    Fraud, overbilling, and charges for non-service are the biggest challenges to enforce within the medicare, medicaid system. I’ve seen huge, questionable billings within my own family care, such as doctor visits that never occurred, or a doctor making numerous, pointless 5 minute visits, and racking up fees. But it gets paid, so most people don’t bother alerting the insurance company or government of the fraud. I find this especially true with elderly patients and families dealing with end of life issues. Once it is over, they rarely get involved over the details except for disputes over “non-covered” services.

    • I think the programs that have given Medicare/Medicaid recipients who flag something that was incorrect 10% of the savings have worked well.

      That would probably be a better way to save money than HSAs too.

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