NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 8, 2009

Perhaps the greatest missed opportunity of the past eight years was the chance for Republicans to fundamentally reform the terribly broken American health-care system.  Access to quality health care has long been a professed priority, yet Republicans have been reluctant to tackle the issue, says Dr. Tom Price, a Republican member of Congress from Georgia, and the new chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

According to Price:

  • This is deeply disappointing because patient-centered health care is, at its core, conservative; moreover, health care is fundamentally a personal relationship between patients and doctors.
  • To honor this relationship, the goal should be to provide a system that allows access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans, in a way that ensures medical decisions are made in doctors' offices, not Washington.
  • Republican unwillingness to address the issue, however, has left us facing a Congress with a Democratic majority well equipped to push a government-centered health-care agenda.

There must be a positive approach to health-care reform that does not sacrifice patient care to achieve its goals, says Price:

  • First, we must fundamentally reform the tax code so that it makes sense for all people to have health insurance. This way, care is purchased without government interference between you and your doctor.
  • Secondly, we must transform our health-care model to one that is owned and controlled by patients. Not until patients truly own their own health plans will we see the accountability and flexibility needed to ensure quality care and necessary cost-lowering efficiencies.

Source: Tom Price, "The GOP Should Fight Health-Care Rationing," Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2009.

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