Too much government involvement in private medical decisions, say some critics. Too scanty on the details, charges another.
Tom Price, a Republican member of Congress from Georgia and a physician, outlined his major concerns about Mr. Obama’s healthcare reform in a conference call with reporters while he waited for the president to begin.
Two biggest show-stoppers
Concern No. 1: Where will medical decisions be made? Dr. Price asked.
Decisionmaking will move from patients and physicians to “a government takeover of those medical decisions or a government-run plan,” Price said. “That’s unacceptable to the physicians of America. I think it’s unacceptable to the patients of America.”
Concern No. 2: There are no actively practicing physicians on the new 15-member Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research.
This council, funded by economic stimulus money and aimed at providing information on the strengths and weaknesses of different medical interventions, will define what is “appropriate quality care,” Price said. The lack of practicing physicians on the board “ought to give Americans great pause,” he added.
Price, in his “pre-buttal,” anticipated that Obama would talk about the “public insurance option” that is being floated in Congress – a government-run health insurance system that consumers could use instead of private insurance. Though Obama insists that the public and private insurance systems would complement one another, Price sees a different outcome.
“Any plan that results in a government takeover of any portion of it will push, will crowd out those individuals all across this land who have personal private health insurance into that government-run program,” he said.
Surely not another wasteful Medicare program?