Tom Price for HHS wants patients to receive the best care they can afford.

Dr. Price was on Capitol Hill testifying to Congress to be chairperson of the Department of Health and Human Services. Price is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and believes that the attempt to provide uniform health insurance was misguided. By focusing on “options,” he intentionally blurs the difference between healthcare (e.g. doctors and nurses) and health insurance (how we pay for them).

Price wants healthcare to be accessible and affordable. He wants more options. I agree with Tom Price on those goals. But I applauded the ACA’s attempt to first and foremost to provide comprehensive coverage for people. When the rubber meets the road, we don’t need many options on insurance. More insurance options may not be a good thing. What the ACA demanded was that insurance provide deep coverage, and that is what Price opposes. I agree with him that diverse healthCARE choices are good for patients. We agree that costs will come down for many people if we renege on our commitment providing deep insurance coverage. He’s got an essentially free market approach and wants the government out of the business of regulating health insurance, which will reduce costs for many people. But when people get sick many patients with cheap insurance will be in deep trouble. Price is not concerned about that because he believes marketplace magic will make cheap wonderful care available. The healthcare reform Price wants is to occur in the doctor’s office. The pain will no longer be asking healthy people to ask for insurance they don’t feel they need..the pain will be when patients will be unable to afford options that they want. Some patients will be able to afford some options and other patients who will be unable to afford those options. That is the “improved choices” that we are heading for.

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