ALEC Applauds Confirmation of the Next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, M.D.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) applauds the passage of the confirmation of Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Tom Price. Price’s experience in Congress and new position as HHS Secretary will give him broad understanding and authority to repeal the debilitating taxes and subsidies mandated in Obamacare while replacing them with more pro-patient, market-based reforms.
Secretary Price has been a fierce advocate of returning the authority to states, including granting program authority over the design of each state’s Medicaid program and returning insurance market regulations, two pieces of our healthcare system Obamacare dramatically changed. For low-income Americans, allowing states to enact reform policies such as giving Medicaid recipients the option to opt-into a private, capitated health insurance plan paid for by the state will create a bridge to portable, private insurance that would bring more cost-consciousness when seeking their health plan.
Expanding the use and availability of health savings accounts, particularly for the young healthy people who could not afford the expensive premiums sold on Obamacare marketplace exchanges, is another mechanism that will reduce the number of uninsured and increase choices individuals have when choosing their individual health plan.
As a life-long champion of market-based reforms, there is no one with more experience to enact meaningful healthcare reform than Secretary Tom Price. Following a twenty-year career as an orthopedic surgeon, Price served four terms in the Georgia State Senate before being elected to Georgia’s 6th district in 2004. His tenure in the House of Representatives includes serving on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, including as the Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget. In previous Congresses, he has served as Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee and Chairman of the Republican Study Committee. Price was confirmed in the Senate by a vote of 52-47.
The unpopularity of Obamacare was largely due to the impact top-down mandated benefits had on insurance coverage, regardless of age or risk. These mandates drove up the price of health insurance for everyone, making our healthcare system both expensive and inefficient. Market-based policies will allow payers to introduce greater competition and choice to the market. ALEC has been a longtime opponent of mandates in almost any form; when less government mandates are in place, consumers will be able to choose the health insurance coverage they want.