August 18th, 2009
01:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Leading House Republican wary of health care co-op

Rep. Tom Price came out against a non-profit health care co-op on Tuesday.
Rep. Tom Price came out against a non-profit health care co-op on Tuesday.

(CNN) - Georgia Republican Tom Price, the chairman of the House Republican Study Committee and a medical doctor, came out against current proposals of a nonprofit health care cooperative to compete with private insurers, calling it "simply another name for a public option."

"The specifics of including a co-op are murky at best. Any Washington control over such a structure would raise immense concern," Price said in a statement. "Patients should be wary of a wolf in sheep's clothing."

The statement from Price, a leading critic of Democratic efforts to pass a health care reform bill, could indicate the inclusion of a health care co-op instead of a public option will likely do little to attract Republican support for the bill in the House.

"Health care reform should start and end with empowering patients," Price also said. "We welcome any discussion of new ideas that will bring patients closer to the care they need without government getting in the way.

The comments come the same day centrist Senate Democrat Kent Conrad promoted the notion of a co-op on CNN's American Morning Tuesday, saying similar business models have been "very successful" and "would certainly contribute to holding down" soaring costs.

Other Democrats, such as Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York - interviewed separately Tuesday on "American Morning" - say the public option is crucial for reform and the co-op idea is weak, lacking the track record or the immediate clout for generating reform.


Filed under: Health care • Tom Price
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. IQ test for all voters

    Of course, he's a "do nothing, keep everything the same regardless of the devastation it has on everyday americans" republican.

    The ONLY interests republicans have are the interests of their corporate sponsors and to oppose EVERYTHING Obama does.

    They ALL need to go!

    August 18, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Enough

    Gotta Love Obummer and the Democrats, they keep on changing the names or trying to word it differently until the people buy it! Sorry.........new name, still the same old lousy healthcare quality destroying bill. The MAJORITY of Americans do NOT want the piece of crap bill on the table!!

    August 18, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. T

    Who cares what he thinks......the Rep has done more DAMAGE . They are fools they lines their pockets with blood money.....they dont care
    about the American people and never well. THEY DONT CARE ABOUT US! How much is the insurance co giving you?

    August 18, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. Reformed Republican

    "The specifics of including a co-op are murky at best"

    Since the specifics are murky and haven't been defined yet, to automatically come out against without any discussion seems...well...republican at best.

    August 18, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Moderate Democrat

    Health Care should start and stop, with only Democrats discussing it. Republicans are simply anti everything. They don't want any reform. They prefer people to die under the current system. The only retarded thing they want is TORT reform. It's been passed in Texas. Result: Health Care Costs soaring out of control still. TORT reform does nothing except save incompetent doctors money after they slaughter a patient.

    FORCE the do nothings to show their faces by making them Filibuster the Public Option plan.

    JUST DO IT!

    August 18, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. YES

    OK, yes Senator spence where were u a "doctor" in this debate, obviously the GOP is a wolf in sheep clothing, you can run but you cannot hide. CHANGE will ensure the Public Option, Patients right and America security and financial stability are taken care of in this reform, without the GOP help. CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN STARTS WITH DEMOCRATS!

    August 18, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Marcus, Great Lakes IL

    Well then, what IS the answer? Something needs to be done otherwise there are going to be a lot more sick and dying people who are going to be taken care of by the government once they lose their jobs and can't find insurance.

    For those of you who believe you have "job security" think again. You CAN lose your job, your insurance carrier CAN drop you or deny a procedure, and the company you work for CAN drop their insurance plan because their portion of paying for YOUR insurance is too high.

    August 18, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Jason

    While I don't like the co-op option at all, Republicans will complain about ANY change in health care. All they care about is keeping things the way they are and getting their campaign contributions from the insurance companies.

    August 18, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. Steph

    They really are securing their place in history as obstructionists! No public option, no co-ops (though they already exist in some states), no new ideas for any reform. Do they think our health care system is fine just the way it is? Oh, yes, that's right, yes they do...because they have wonderful health insurance (a government-funded plan).

    August 18, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Ben in Texas

    More proof, if we needed it, that the Repugnants are out to kill health care reform in any form. In fact, they are out to kill any Obama plan, not matter what.

    The big old, good ole boys PARTY OF NO!

    We need single payer health care, like our military and the rest of the civilized world already have.

    August 18, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Gene

    Oh no.. another idea we didn't come up with... it can't possibly be good! There's only 1 way to reform healthcare... lower taxes on the insurance companies.. that way they can pass the savings on to their customers!

    Yes.. I'm being sarcastic.. this is growing tiresome. Dems keep bring up new ideas to reform healthcare.. Repubs keep saying no, but that they want to lower health care costs. Unfortunately I still don't hear any ideas on how to do that.. just that they to lower our costs.

    August 18, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Gary

    Surprise surprise. What else is new? The party of no has no ideas, but plenty of doubts and questions.

    August 18, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. DJ in TX

    Congressman Price, you welcome any suggestion that brings patients closer to the care they need...........then come up with an idea.....all I've been hearing is the public option is bad, this is bad or that is bad..........please give some SPECIFICS on what wording exactly in the bill is bad. What wording is saying "government takeover" or "death panels"..............Just stop saying no and give an alternative. I think everyone agrees, the status quo is not working. My insurance company can still say NO to a procedure or treatment, but you want to leave it to them to fix things................

    Please, please come up with an alternative plan vs just saying no. And please back that plan up with FACTS.

    August 18, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. Alan

    Hey friend of Insurance Companies - wake up! You're not going to "empower patients" by continuing to allow the insurance industry the same kind of free reign they've enjoyed prior to now - without government "getting in the way."

    What do you propose? VOLUNTARY moves on the part of the industry? That would wind up working as well as G.W. handing the financial institutions hundreds of billions with the admonition to "do good" with it.

    Sheesh. You really think America is deaf, dumb and blind (and the word "dumb" here is not an affront to the hard-of-hearing...I meant DUMB as in low I.Q.).

    August 18, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. yuri

    This GOP garbage about private only healthcare has had its innings for the past 8 yrs., and just look at where it has led us. The deplorable deeds of the deadly die-hard repubs have downgraded US health system which has slipped below other countries' quality of healthcare, particularly of the UK's NHS.

    Not a single freakin' fellow from the frontline GOP force has said anything significant about this level of care. We thought they were plain morons, but, of late, they have also chosen to be blind, deaf, and mute, except when opposing the Dem plans.

    August 18, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. republicans destroyed America!

    republicans are wary of anything that will take profits from the insurance company's.

    August 18, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. history repeats

    wow they dont want public options now they dont want co-ops, does it really take a rocket scientist to realize the republicans DONT WANT TO DO ANYTHING!! they will stall and stall until another issue comes in and saves them!!!

    August 18, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Bill

    Republicans are against anything that doesn't make their club wealthy. Conservatives are ruining America, the land that I love!!!

    August 18, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. joe

    Who is he, never heard of him....

    August 18, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. JS007

    Well, Pres. Obama, here's your final proof that the Party of No will not support ANY bill that helps the American people get out from the iron grip of the insurance industry. Now, time to pass a real bill, with a real public option, with no support from the GOP. You were never going to get it, no matter how hard you tried. I actually thank Mr. Price for his honesty.

    August 18, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Holding the country back.

    of course you're weary of co-op.

    You're against health care reform, medicare and social security. This news is not a surprise.

    August 18, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I beg to differ congressman. A public option and a co-op are two different things completely. Here goes more misinformation going around. A public option is meant to cover ALL. A co-op is intended on grouping people together to negotiate better rates with the insurance company. The problem with co-ops are that if the group isn't big enuogh, you definitely won't be able to negotiate lower rates. On the other hand a public option will bring the cost down by simply charging less for services. That's how you get insurance companies to reform their actions.

    August 18, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. Lee

    Republicans will be "wary" or bbe against ANYTHING that has Obama's name on it, even if some of the provisions (like the provision where insurance covers end of kufe discussions with your doctor) are those they championed themselves in the past.

    Republicans play this as just a huge game, and the media reports it only as a game earger than reporting on the outright lying and hypocricy.

    In this game, everyone loses, including the fools that are organized by republican operatives to scream lies at public events.

    August 18, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. history repeats

    "We welcome any discussion of new ideas that will bring patients closer to the care they need without government getting in the way."

    why dont you just say "we will welcome any idea that leaves everything the way it is..." this is ridiculous! i think its time for the left to get mad. i mean REAL MAD! not like the idiots at the town halls and the BIGGER IDIOTS bringing AR-15's to the town halls......doesnt the whole "bringing an automatic weapon to a town hall" idea show you which side is absolutely childish and does not understand complicated issues enough to be involved in them? would you let your 5 year old decide which company you should refinance your home mortgage with??? yea neither would i!!!

    August 18, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    Keep government out? Isn't that contrary to him trying to dictate what we're allowed to have access to?

    Give us the Public Option and let US decide. Not the Party of No that just works to protect Private Insurance Company PROFITS.

    How much money have these people received from Insurance Company PROFITS???

    August 18, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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