U.S. Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-Ga), appeared on FOX News Business channel today, discussing his Empowering Patients First Act (H.R. 2300) as an alternative to President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA, or commonly Obamacare).
Price spoke to FOX News' Charles Payne during the Varney & Co. morning program. The conversation about Republicans' attacks on Obamacare started last week, when former speaker of the House and Georgia congressman Newt Gingrich suggested that Republicans only criticize but don't offer any "positive" solutions to health care issues.
"I will bet you, for most of you, if you go home in the next two weeks while your members of Congress are home and you look them in the eye and say, 'What is your positive replacement for Obamacare?' they will have zero answer," said Gingrich at the Republican National Committee's summer summit last week.
Price told Payne that he talked to Gingrich since then and reminded the speaker that he named Price's bill as an example of a better health care policy than Obamacare in 2012, when Gingrich was running for president.
"The bottom line is you don't have to put Washington in charge to solve the health care challenges we got," said Price on FOX. "H.R. 2300 is the bill that we've offered that gets folks covered, solves the insurance challenges, and saves hundreds of billions of dollars, does it all without putting Washington in charge or raising your taxes. It can be done, it's called patients- center healthcare, patients and families and doctors are making medical decisions, not Washington, D.C."
Payne suggested that perhaps promoting Price's or anyone's alternative to Obamacare would be smarter than just fighting to defund and delay ACA.
Price agreed and said he's been trying to convince his colleagues in the House and the Senate to embrace a plan that would counter Obamacare in a positive way.
"We need to be putting something out there that says: yes, you can get individuals health coverage that they want, not that Washington forces them to buy, you can solve the insurance challenges, two biggest ones being portability and pre-existing, those are simple to solve and you don't have to put Washington in charge," said Price. "And again, you can save hundreds of billions of dollars, and we ought to be doing that positively so that the American people can see the contrast: President Obama wants Washington to run your health coverage, we want patients, and families and doctors to run your health care."
If nothing else, Gingrich's statements have certainly gotten Republicans to talk more about alternatives to Obamacare. Last Friday, another Georgia Republican Paul Broun, released a statement reminding everyone that he also put forward a health care bill, Patient Option Act.
None of the Republican solutions to Affordable Care Act have been taken seriously in Congress, mostly because President Obama would never sign a Republican bill that repeals his own law.