By Congressman Tom Price
Right now, Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are working to construct sweeping proposals to reform America’s health care delivery system. Some believe they are able to capture huge political good will with their demagoguery. With such a challenge, scores of ideas are being thrown around, often without proper scrutiny. As important as putting the right pieces in place to ensure patients have access to the best care, we must also fully understand the impediments to appropriate patient-centered health care that have been proposed.
To construct a sustainable, modern 21st century health care system, we must consider a wide range of ideas. There remain, however, a handful of destructive proposals that are gaining traction, threatening the future of quality health care in America. These include a government-run “public option”, mandating that either employers provide health care insurance for their employees or that individuals must, under punishment of law, purchase health insurance on their own, and reliance upon a national health care rationing board under the guise of a quality board. As these proposals would perilously harm a patient’s access to quality health care, they must not be a part of any responsible reform package.
Having learned a few things from their last health care debacle, Democrats recognize that a government-run system remains wildly unpopular. To get around this obstacle to Washington control, many Democrats, including President Obama, have proposed the creation of a “public option” to “compete” with private insurers. This is nothing more than a backdoor path to a government takeover of health care.
Since these public plans will be subsidized through higher taxes, private insurers will be at an obvious competitive disadvantage. As private plans will not be able to match the almost unlimited pockets of the federal Treasury, millions of Americans will be ushered and coerced into a government-run system, unsuspecting of the limits on their access to care. How long do we expect it will take CEOs looking to clean up their bottom line to suggest employees enter the public system?