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The Marietta Daily Journal - Try Principled Solutions to Health Care Fix


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By Representative Tom Price

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld as constitutional President Obama's health care law. The Court's decision leaves in place dangerous policies that will force American citizens to endure diminished quality of care, increased insurance costs, fewer health care choices, and excessive taxation brought on by an overzealous Washington. While disappointed in the Court's decision, those of us who have always fought for patient-centered health care solutions remain determined to repeal this disastrous law so that we may restore personal control over health care decisions.

To that end, the House of Representatives will take action in the days ahead to once again send a full repeal of the president's health care law to the Senate and seek their commitment to working together to improve our health care system. Since the beginning of this debate, Republicans have developed and promoted positive solutions that empower individuals and families to choose the health coverage they want, not that the government forces them to purchase. We have done so because it is obvious the status quo in America's health care system is broken and in need of reform. Our solutions would preserve the sacred doctor-patient relationship and keep unelected bureaucrats from denying access to care.

It may be hard to believe for those committed to a government model of health care reform, but there are common sense proposals that would expand access, address costs, assure quality and encourage innovation all without putting Washington in control.

There are positive, patient-centered solutions that would provide the financial incentive for every single American to be able to afford the health coverage they want for themselves and their families, not that the government wants for them. Rather than build reform around the premise of mandates and government control, why not provide a system of tax deductions and credits that reflect the needs of Americans no matter their economic situation?

At the same time, we can solve the insurance challenges of portability and pre-existing conditions by allowing everyone to own their health coverage regardless of who buys it and have access to robust pooling opportunities so you retain the ability to purchase insurance, regardless of health status. In other words, you would have the financial wherewithal to own what you've paid for even if you change or lose your job and you are not subject to being priced out of the market if you have a bad injury or illness.

What of the hundreds of billions of dollars that are wasted on the practice of defensive medicine each year? While forgotten by the president and his Democrat allies in their health care law, House Republicans believe it makes no sense to ignore wasteful spending in health care brought on by lawsuit abuse. That is why we will fight to make sure resources are better spent on improving the quality of care and ensuring greater access to affordable, innovative health care choices.

In the end, the Supreme Court's decision leaves the future of health care in America in jeopardy. We are left with a law that reflects an ideological pursuit by a Democrat-controlled Washington bent on expanding the size, scope, and power of the federal government at the expense of personal health care decisions.

To relieve the nation of such a threat remains the goal of House Republicans and all those across the country fighting to protect and preserve patient-centered health care. This is a battle best fought with principled solutions aimed at expanding access to affordable health care choices. We can achieve such goals while addressing the challenges of portability, pre-existing conditions, fraud, and waste. In fact, it's a better solution based upon American principles!

U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) is an orthopaedic surgeon representing the Sixth District of Georgia. He serves as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee in the House of Representatives.

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