Markets over Mandates: Tom Price’s Alternative to Obamacare


Last week former Speaker of the House and Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich blasted his own party by saying that Republicans are caught up in a culture of negativity, and have no real alternative for Obamacare.

Per usual, Gingrich lapsed into reminiscence of his speakership. Recalling how his caucus had blocked then President Clinton’s health reform in ’94 by offering its own positive alternative. He believes Republicans should be using this strategy now.

It appears that Gingrich is unaware of such an alternative offered by Dr. and Congressman Tom Price, who represents the former Speaker’s home district. The plan, known as the Empowering Patients First Act, is a comprehensive alternative to Obamacare. According to a Press Release from Price’s office:

“President Obama’s health care law violates every principle of health care that Americans hold dear: accessibility, affordability, choices, innovation, quality and responsiveness,” Rep. Price said.  “The law threatens the doctor-patient relationship.  It empowers Washington bureaucrats at the expense of quality health care choices, and quite simply, the federal government should not be interfering with the most personal decisions in the lives of the American people.”

The plan contains health reforms that Republicans are well-known for promoting. Among them, allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines and insurance no longer being tied to employment are included in the bill.

Price, who prior to his political career was an orthopedic surgeon for over 20 years, is touting his health plan as the positive alternative that Gingrich seems to be longing for. Prices plan relies more on incentivizes than coercion by using tax credits and deductions as opposed to mandates and penalties.

In a recent Fox News interview, Price claimed that even more people would be able to obtain insurance under his plan than they would under Obamacare. He claims that by making insurance affordable for everyone that an intrusive mandate backed by bureaucracy would be unnecessary.

Price even goes so far as to state that his plan would allow more people to buy insurance “I think with our plan, H.R. 2300, we can get more folks covered. We think every single American, as opposed to the President’s plan which won’t.”

Price’s plan has been lauded by well-known Conservatives, but remains unlikely to become law at this point. Without control of the Senate, Republicans have little hope of getting any sort of health reform bill to the President’s desk.

You can read the entire text of the Empowering Patients First Act here.