Tom Price: ‘It Is Imperative We Have a System in Place that Has Patients at the Center’

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Rep. Tom Price says healthcare policy must have patients – and not government mandates – at its center.

That’s what the Georgia representative told members of the Senate HELP Committee Wednesday during his confirmation hearing for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services.

It sounds like just plain common sense for healthcare to have patients at its center, but the truth is Obamacare has mandates at its center – literally, the underlying financial structures attempting to hold it up. The individual mandate forces Americans to purchase health insurance under penalty, and the essential benefits requirement dictates what must be covered in health insurance plans.

Even now, with Obamacare imploding, Democrats are hell bent on portraying President Obama’s signature law as God-send legislation that has saved the lives of millions of Americans.

“Just last week you voted to begin the process of ripping apart our healthcare system, without any plan to replace it, despite independent studies showing that nearly 30 million people would lose healthcare coverage,” HELP Committee ranking member Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) complained to Price.

“My constituents are coming up to me with tears in their eyes, wondering what the future holds for their healthcare given the chaos Republican efforts could cause,” she added. “President-elect Trump and Republican leaders have promised the American people their plans to dismantle our healthcare system right away would somehow do no harm, and would not cause anyone to lose coverage.”

There is no indication Murray profusely apologized to her constituents “with tears in their eyes” for signing them onto a poorly conceived Obamacare in the first place. No indication that Murray apologized to her constituents for the fact that Obamacare guarantees insurance “coverage,” i.e., an insurance card, but not actual “access” to health care.

At the same time they fume over not knowing what Obamacare’s “replacement” will be, Democrats would like Americans to forget about the fact they passed Obamacare in stealth fashion, and that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Americans Congress would have to “pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”

Democrats would also like Americans to forget Obama’s oft-repeated statement to the millions of Americans who had health insurance before Obamacare, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan.”

Price responded to Murray’s feverish concerns.

“I think it is imperative we have a system in place that has patients at the center and allows for every single American to have the opportunity to gain access for the coverage they want,” he said.

The key difference between what Democrats want and what Price wants lies in the concept of who or what is at the center of the plan. Democrats want government and its mandates at the center, while Price talked about patients and people making their own choices, and Americans having the opportunity to purchase the kind of health insurance they want and can afford.

“I’m very concerned your vision for a healthcare system is very different than one I think Americans are counting on,” Murray said to Price.

Americans counting on a system that has government, and not people and their individual choices, at its center? Not likely.


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