House Republicans are taking pole position in repealing and replacing ObamaCare with Donald Trump’s pick of Tom Price as secretary of Health and Human Services.
The Republican lawmaker from Georgia, a confidant of Speaker Paul Ryan(R-Wis.) and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, is a former physician with a deep understanding of both the thorny politics and wonky details of healthcare.
He’s deeply committed to repealing ObamaCare and, if confirmed, would become the first health secretary with a medical background since Louis Sullivan, who led the department under former President George H.W. Bush. The move to nominate Price sends an unmistakable signal that Trump intends to work with House Republicans and Ryan, with whom he has fought in the past, on unwinding President Obama’s signature law.
“It’s a signal that the House is in the lead,” said Tom Miller, a frequent healthcare consultant to the GOP. “It’s going to be much more of a House-driven process in the early stages.”
The decision is also significant given Trump’s comments just weeks ago following a meeting in the White House with Obama.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump talked about his desire to keep parts of the healthcare law, such as its provisions prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions, and allowing people under 26 years old to stay on their parents’ plans.
While it remains possible, perhaps likely, that those two popular parts of the law will survive a repeal effort, the choice of Price suggests Trump is deadly serious about repealing ObamaCare.
The health care act past by the democrats in congress was meant to FAIL . The socialist in the US Congress wanted a single payer program ( US Government ) to take over the heath care of US Citizens . Also when you control health care you control the citizens of a country . Passing the Health Care Act had the socialist in this country well on their way to destroying our Constitutional Republic . But on November 8, 2016 the American people spoke IE We The People will not let you destroy our Constitutional Republic and elected Donald Trump as the 45th US President .
Well said, to the point & true
it was a horrible long train wreck from the very beginning.
We need individually owned HSA's, removed from divorce settlements, lawsuits and IRS. Owned by each person, used by a debit card, with the owner's complete freedom to shop around for pricing and procedures. Transferable in all situations to any state or any job or to just enjoy retirement. And inheritable to next of kin. Accompany this with an emergency medical account. Offered by any insurance company and used anywhere anytime. I love my HSA and am using it out of network to give me what I want and need. It is no one's business but mine what I use it for or where I use it. No government involved. As far as I am concerned, this should be the basis for the so-called "replacement" that TRUMP! talks about.
Ryan will screw it up, like Lou Dobbs said he is a snake.
Price voted against ObamaCare when the Democratic-controlled House approved it and in the years since has become a leading GOP advocate for getting government out of healthcare.
He offered his own plan to replace ObamaCare in 2015, becoming one of the first Republicans to put forth a comprehensive blueprint to fix the law.
His plan would have given subsidies to people based on their age to buy insurance on the private market, instead of the income-based coverage in ObamaCare.
Earlier this year, Price stood alongside Ryan as the House GOP leadership team unveiled its healthcare plan as part of a policy platform called “A Better Way.”
While the plan lacked some details, Price touted it as being the first time that Republicans in Congress had lined up behind a blueprint to repeal and replace ObamaCare — something Republicans had previously struggled to do.
“We want a system that’s accessible for everybody. We want a system that’s affordable for everybody,” Price, one of just four GOP committee chairman to work on the plan, said at the time. “We want a system that’s of the highest quality and we want a system that provides choices for the American people — for patients. And in fact the path that we’re on right now violates those principles.”
The GOP’s plan did keep ObamaCare’s protections for people with preexisting conditions, and its provision allowing people under 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) hailed Trump’s nomination and noted that Price had worked “very closely” on the details of “A Better Way.”
He said repealing and replacing the law would ultimately need the cooperation of both chambers of Congress as well as the Trump administration. But he also suggested the House was in a great position because of the blueprint Price had worked on.
“I think the House is in a very strong position because of ‘A Better Way,’ ” McCarthy said.
Several people familiar with Price’s leadership style as budget chairman have hailed him as a unifier in the House.
And while dozens of Democrats have fiercely opposed Price’s nomination, his confirmation appears likely. Republicans need a majority vote in the Senate to confirm Price, making it exceedingly difficult for Democrats to block his nomination.
Price has stood out from other Republicans in offering specifics on replacing ObamaCare.
Miller, the health policy researcher at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, said he remembers reading early drafts of Price’s plan five or six years ago and thinking: “This is someone who did the work.”
“He’s someone who doesn’t just talk about the policy and issue the press release. He works it through,” Miller said.
None of this is to underplay the challenges for Trump and Price, as well as congressional Republicans, in replacing ObamaCare. To replace or fix the law, Price will have to corral the same groups — from drugmakers to hospital groups — that Democrats battled with in approving the law. He’ll also have to deal with the challenge of taking away an entitlement that millions of people have become used to having.
Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), who occasionally travels with Price as members of the House GOP Doctors Caucus, said the chairman knows that Republicans can’t go in and strip away healthcare plans for millions of people without a replacement.
“That’s going to be the Democrats’ talking point — that all the sudden nobody’s going to have care if they had health insurance [under ObamaCare],” Roe said.
Roe said he’s been in the room while the soft-spoken Price has heard personal stories about the irksome bureaucracy surrounding healthcare.
He insisted his colleague would not want to lessen healthcare coverage. The number of uninsured has fallen dramatically since ObamaCare’s passage. Getting rid of the healthcare exchanges set up under the law, or the mandate that people buy insurance, could certainly raise the number of uninsured.
“There’s nobody I’ve heard of that wants to lessen the number of people who have health insurance,” Roe said.
Roe said he also believes that Price would be willing to take a stand against Trump on healthcare, pointing to his 20 years as a surgeon in high-stakes situations.
“You can bet your bottom dollar he will tell the president, in a respectful way, if he comes up with some hare-brained scheme, if that’s what he believes,” Roe said.