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. Michele

    I must be the moron here....I thought we were promised the "same coverage" option as our geniuses in the house, senate, and White House. So, why is this so hard? Because Obama lied (shocker) and now he's trying to offer something piss poor instead (another shocker). Frankly, I hope Obama and Sebelius fall on their lying faces. They do not have our interests at heart...only their pockets. I pay for my own health insurance and the private market is very competitve if you do your research, especially when it comes to customer service and claims. Cigna has excellent service and they pay their claims...especially with an HMO...Blue Cross on the other hand has horrible customer service and they deny claims left and right...however, their premiums are significantly lower...so, you get what you pay for. Ultimately, I suppose with a government plan...if you're not really paying for it...you're not likely to get much satisfaction with it in the long run either. This is not rocket science people. Lets move on and spend our tax dollars on something more worthwhile shall we....

    August 18, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Audra Wasillid

    I agree with this representative from Ga. Goodness, how in the world did this country survive all these decades without government intervention in our health care?

    Another thing that is riling me these days is to read the comments by young or black people who are criticizing those "old white men". Those "old white men" are the ones who kept this country from being overrun by the Marxist Japanese and Germans when they were young men; they answered our nation's need and brought our country to greatness after WWII only to have the young, selfish people criticize them for wanting to live as long as they can. People who criticize our "greatest generation" should be ashamed of themselves and should be spat upon by all Americans.

    August 18, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Charles

    Ridiculous. I am getting really tired of the Republicans spinning this out of control. Bottom line is we need completely socialized health care. Period.

    August 18, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Smarter than Joe the Plumkook

    Against non-profit co-ops? This guy needs to get off his knees to the super rich ins. exec's.

    August 18, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Hugo

    SCRAP THESE BILLS and create a bill that deals directly with tort law reform and smarter health insurance regulations. The freaking government lawyers are the ones that have killed our Nation, think about it! Every industry is pestered with the continual fear of lawsuit by some ambulance chasing lawyer with a license to steal, an industry totally self regulated! Regulate lawyers and insurance not the American people! Wake up Dumbocrats!

    August 18, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Chris

    Folks when are you gonna wake up and see the Republican do not want nothing to do with Healthcare!!!

    The would rather you people who are out there screaming about how you don't want this or that to continue the stupid message. But here is the kicker the Republican know you need it, but the have convince you that you don't...LOL idiots!!

    I mean seriously, ask your Congressman to give up his Gonvernment Healthcare Plan!!! I mean he works for the people and if the people decide it is time for him to contribute his healthcare, check out his reaction. Now, some of them may not care becasue they are rich and could give a hoot!!! LOL

    August 18, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. Public Option is the Only Way

    These GOPs are not going to be satisfied with anything the Dem and the President will put on the table. They are going to say no to everything and anything. Why does the president feel the need to make these guys happy? They are only going to be happy if they are successful at throwing eggs on his face and to bring him down and "break" him. They will not say yes to anything and anything that the president tries to do they will be out there bad mouthing it and twisting the words and stirring up those haters to get their guns out and come to town hall meetings so they can get their day in the sun, get their 15 mins of lime light. These idiots out there yelling about Obamacare are the ones that will hurt the most if the HCR does not get passed. Bunch of idiots just full of hatred so stupid that they are willing to be led to slather by the insurance companies and the GOP who can't stand that they are not in power.

    August 18, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. PA Voter

    R's don't want the public option - said they'd consider the co-op option. Now the R's say they are "wary" of the co-op. I say they are full of malarky! They don't want ANY plan - PERIOD! Their plan is to drag this along until it just dies.

    August 18, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. ETM

    In short, the Republicans will never agree to anything that might force private insurers to compete more effectively and lower costs. This should not be unexpected since the Republicans care nothing about Americans without adequate health insurance and simply want to defeat any constructive legislation that the President and the Democrats may craft.
    Republicans are now little more than the party of stupid obstructionism. If the Democrats are any smarter, they will forget all about the Republicans (with perhaps one or two exceptions in the Senate) and get health care reform done themselves.

    August 18, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Chas in Iowa

    And how much is this mouthpiece getting paid by special intrests?
    Seems like every one of these GOP politicians to speak out against a public option are in the pockets of insurance and pharmicutical lobbyists.

    I'd like to see a fact check on the infuence of these lobbyists on the big spoksman for the GOP front against reforming health care. I'd bet my life savings there is a direct correlation.

    August 18, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. phyllis

    Mr. Tom Price, is a republican, he does not want any health care reform, no matter what kind of a health care plan you put in front of him, and other republican, they are not going to like it, no matter what.They are against any form of help for the working poor, because most of the republicans have health insurance, just like him, but if he was one of the working poor or and elder person, without health insurance he would look at this in a different light. People need help, if it was his family he would do all he could to get this health insurance passed, a public plan, they are going to stall this any way they can. The republicans are in the lobbist and insurance companys back pocket, that is why they don't want any health care reform, why mess up your cash cow, gravy train, by helping people that need help. thank you.

    August 18, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. lila

    "calling it "simply another name for a public option."

    Well, if he can sell that to the democrats it might gain Obama some support. It does not matter to the right. Anything Obama supports is out with them. The swing voters can't see anything but the republicans excrement in the water so don't trust it no matter what is done. If the republican's think a co-op is the same as a "public option" then we should stop trying to cut our nose off despite our face for them. Drop the co-op idea, democrats. Co-op's don't work. Even non-profit co-ops. We already have one. Blue cross is a non profit co-op. It has failed to reform health care. To pass a co-op will be a failure. It will hurt our party. This republican is doing us a big favor. Agree with him. Co-op's are the same thing as a "public option". You are right! Sure. So why call it by another name? Go with the public option. Make very sure "Public Option" is how it is spelled in the bill and let the republican tell the blue dogs that it the same thing. I'm all for it.

    August 18, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. I'm against idiots

    How can the consumer compete against the insurance industry ? if there's no public option then what makes these politicians think that there would be any kind of effort by the insurance companies to lower cost , that's just plain stupidty , why are so many republicans are against a public option ? it can't be bad as the insurance companies raping Amercian citizens ,dropping them when their sick even after years of paying premiums then your told that we can't cover you , do they really want us to continue this type of practice , I admit something has to be done but not having a public option to make insurance companies take less profit and lowere cost would be the only viable solution.................

    August 18, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. wait a minute

    Any co-op is not equivalent to the public plan so w don't want co-ops.
    We need the public plan to save money and expand coverage to all Americans. You have to look beyond a fixed size of a pie, not fighting against each other on the slice size.

    August 18, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Roger

    This is just another republican extremest who has benefits paid for by the US taxpayers & he has NO concern for anyone else & expecially those who do not have health benefits YET his right wing grass root followers will go along & believe everything he says....I suggest that all members of congress that oppose providing health care for the American people give up their benefits paid for by the US taxpayers until this matter is resolved this includes the BLUE DOG Democrats.

    August 18, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Gerry

    Earth to the Democrats: the GOP will never support Health Care reform; so, give up on any form or bi-partisan efforts to craft a health care bill the GOP will vote for. The GOP is totally dedicated to ruining the Obama Administration in what ever way they can, fair or foul. Get used to it, Democrats; the GOP is not worth the time and effort to bring into the American main stream of political thinking. Get on with it and all will be well.

    August 18, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Steve in Kentucky

    Time to ram through health care with zero Republican support.

    Whenever the health care bill comes through it'll have zero Republican support in any case. So it doesn't really matter what people like Price say, does it?

    August 18, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Ken in Gainesville

    This is not surprising. Republicans do not want to pass any kind of health care reform, regardless of its merit. The Democrats should ignore these obstructionists, and pass a bill without them. I am amazed at all the rhetoric and outright lies. If health care is not fixed, then the entire health care industry will collapse. The rich will get theirs, and everyone else will be on their own. The insurance companies and health care providers will get even richer, and retire to their gated communities. Of course, doctors will be passe. They will have to get approval for all procedures from an industry bureaucrat only interested in the bottom line (actually, that's the way it works now). And if health care is "socialized" medicine, I hope all these whiney Republicans give up their Medicare, Medicaid, and VA Hospitals. You can't have one without the other. It's time for the rest of us to strike back at these "town hall" charades.

    August 18, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. MW in CA

    This moron clearly is not thinking with his dipstick. Market Based Non-Profit Cooperatives are run by the patients who sign into them not the Federal Gov. The Fed. does provide start-up capital but that is all. The Fed can and should put guidlines and oversite over all medical insurance providers and cooperatives to insure a level playing field. These Repugs will come up with any excuse to say no so why bother with excuses just say no and show that you really dont give a crap about the average working family.

    August 18, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. Mike

    A co-op is nothing but a back door to obamas single payer health care debacle he wants to incorporate.

    August 18, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. DL

    Republicans aren't going to support anything anyways so why bother...they have proven this time and time again, only system they will even remotely support is status quo or a way to continue throwing money to these very companies that put us in this situation to start with. Why are we even listening to them at this point?

    August 18, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. Dick Foley

    Let's be clear. The debate should focus on Health Care Insurance changes not on Health Care changes. Fix the unregulated monopoly and health care will follow along nicely

    August 18, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. Dorothy

    Mr Price I'm sure is confessed Its 'Patients be wary off Repubilcans that were on charge for six year's and did nothing for healthcare or anything, but help special intrest groups, leave our country in a hugh mess, So as smart american that did'nt vote for BUSH MADNESS. I did VOTE for CHANGE so get smart people wake up don't be scared By the BIG BAD REPUBILAN WOLF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 18, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. HJA

    OK then what's your plan Rice? Same old bull. This is bad but I have no ideas for myself. Typical GOOPER. No brain and nothing to offer. Empowering patients? What does that mean? Contact Wall Street directly to get an OK for their care?

    August 18, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. patNY

    This guy just shows how out of touch Repukes are over HCR! He and his cronies would be against any proposal even it were one that included $10K yearly tax credits to all to purchase private insurance coverage!

    August 18, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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