Today, Congressman Peter Roskam participated in numerous media interviews regarding substantive healthcare reform and President Obama's speech to the American Medical Association (AMA). Congressman Roskam is a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, which is due to consider healthcare reform in the coming months. Congressman Roskam's "5 Principles for Healthcare Reform" is available here.
Excerpts from the interviews follow:
On the Addition of a Government-Run Program:
"The notion that a new government program is going to be as pure as the wind-driven snow is something that my district is not buying." (CBS 2 Chicago Nightly News, 06/15/2009)
On What a "Public option" will do to private healthcare and competition:
"[A government run plan would be like] if you have two teams that are coming out on the field to quote compete, but the referee is wearing the other team's jersey. That is exactly what you have going on. The federal government is going to quote compete in health care, but oh guess what? The federal government is also the referee." (WIND 560's Big John Howell and Cisco Show, 06/16/2009)
On Substantive Steps to Reducing Healthcare Costs:
"We need to go after real waste, real fraud and real abuse [in Medicare]. 13% of our Medicare outlays right now are outright fraudulent. Literally scams where folks are able to set up scam operations where they are literally ripping the system off. The federal government does a very poor job of tracking somebody if they set up a scam in Illinois and they go into another state like Kentucky or Indiana. There is very little accountability." (WIND 560's Big John Howell and Cisco Show, 06/16/2009)
On whether President Obama's plans meet Roskam's 5 principles for health reform:
"For example, enhancing the Patient-Physician Relationship. His [President Obama's] plan, this public option would put another government bureaucrat in that relationship between doctor and patient and I think most folks that I represent want the insurance bureaucrats out and they do not want a government bureaucrat in there.
"My constituents want doctors and patients to be reconnected in ways that make sense to them. They want to see us make sure we don't stifle medical innovation, which in this country is great. Think about the devices and the transforming nature of things that have come upon and been made available to us within our lifetime. You got to make sure those things don't get stifle because government alone certainly does not come up with those medical devices. It is largely the private sector.
"My folks are looking for the right to know from their Health Care providers. Who's doing a good job, who's not doing a good job - publishing some results - morbidity results and success rates of different hospitals and physicians. And they are also interested in doing everything they can to contain costs because for small businesses, for that manufacturing core that I represent in DuPage and northwest suburban Cook county, those guys are struggling from 19,20, 23, 25% increases in their insurance premiums and I don't think the President's plan hits the mark in terms of cost containment." (WLS' Don Wade and Roma Show, 06/16/2009)