Friday, May 15, 2015

Is Doctor Price Right on ObamaCare Replacement?

The real price of everything is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

Tom Price, MD, is a 61 year old orthopedic surgeon. He represents Georgia’s sixth Congressional District. He has been in the House of Representatives for 10 years. Price is a pro-growth Republican. He has just replaced Paul Ryan as chairman of the House Budget Committee. His medical experience includes running an orthopedic clinic at Grady Memorial hospital and serving as assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Emory medical school. Based on this experience, does his plan to replace ObamaCare have merit?

Price is now in the news because he has introduced the Empowered Patient First Act as a replacement for ObamaCare. This is the first GOP bill officially introduced as a possible replacement for ObamaCare in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s June decision on federal health exchange subsidies.

In essence, the Price bill (one of the 55 he has backed during his 10 year House career) contains these components.

Repeals ObamaCare.

Creates refundable tax credits based on age ($1200 for 18-34 year olds, $3000 for those over 50, $900 for each child up to 18, and $1000 tp put into Health Savings Accounts for routine care.
Allows patients to opt out of Medicare, Medicaid, and VA programs.

Allows interstate health care commerce.

Expands Health Savings Accounts.

Reforms malpractice.

There is more to Price’s bill than these key factors, and you may wish to read about it more at length at Philip Klein, “Top House Republican Unveils Replacement Plan for ObamaCare,”Washington Examiner and Real Clear Politics, May 14, 2015).

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