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. MidnightPhil

    Ha! No surprise here. This is just the next step in the Republican plan to diminish the health care bill into nothingness. Look at this sequentially: first they whittle the public option down, then they say the public option is unacceptable and only a co-op plan is allowable, and now they've begun to question even that. They use every compromise to try and defeat the bill, not improve it.

    I don't give a fig for bipartisanship anymore. We voted the Dems into power, now they need to get something done. Slap reconciliation on the bill, and pass it through.

    August 18, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. dora

    "Wary of Co-ops"... maybe because they don't work? Wake up, the only people who don't want us to have universal health care are the ones who profit from the system now, and the lackeys they hire and they folks who have been given all the wrong (read: scary) information.
    I'd rather deal with a low-level bureaucrat for my health care than a CEO who makes his profit by denying my coverage. You want to make American manufacturing more competitive? Then stop making them pay for health care.

    August 18, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. johnrj08

    Here it comes. First, their scare tactics frighten people away from the public option, and now they're going after the one remaining element of health care reform that could make it affordable. This is really a sad time for politics in the United States.

    August 18, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. David in SanDiego

    The extent to which Republican'ts will defend a failing, corrupt for-profit system is incredible. People get bonuses for finding ways to deny treatment, and the less the insurer spends on benefits the more the chief execs earn. No other modern country would countenance that. Unbridled free-market capitalism will be our economic downfall.

    August 18, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Deep South

    "Health care reform should start and end with empowering patients," Price says???? Wouldn't that mean ACCESS to health care? Those opposed to a public option better come up with some good ideas pretty quickly or they will look like they are just playing politics.

    August 18, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. Traj

    Republicans are still "Stuck on Stupid"

    August 18, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. D. A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    President Obama, the Constitutional Law Professor-in-Chief, should admonish both Houses of Congress for failing to do their job as outlined in Article I Section Eight of the Constitution of the USA.

    Article I, Section Eight, Clause One tells Congress to:

    Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

    Congress is not doing their job and are in contempt of the Constitution of the USA.

    August 18, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. terry b

    Republicans don't want public option.

    So Republicans don't want co-ops.

    That leaves only one choice –

    CONTINUE TO LET BIG INSURANCE COMPANIES CALL THE SHOTS!!!

    DISGUSTING!!!

    August 18, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. John in UT

    Bull! These guys don't want any discussion.

    August 18, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Fancysmiley from Conyers

    Empower patients how? At the end of the day, the final decision rests with the physicians and insurance companies. There are many working families who cannot afford healthcare. Would these politicians prefer these individuals go to state run hospitals and pass the costs of their hospital visits on to the taxpayers? It doesn't have to be government funded option but something needs to be put in place for those that can't afford quality health insurance and those who don't qualify for medicaid due to income restricitions.

    August 18, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. Len in Washington

    ONLY THE STATUS QUO!
    ONLY THE STATUS QUO!
    ONLY THE STATUS QUO!

    The Republican Plan for Health Care Reform.

    August 18, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Louis

    WAKE UP AMERICANS: The average salary for CEOs at the biggest health insurance companies is $10,000,000 per year. Compensation for doctors is so low that there will soon be a shortage of 40,000 familly practioners. Does this worry anybody? Let's hear from all of you who think the present system is so great.

    August 18, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Wake Up

    He's right! Obama is just a fraud and trying to change the name of Government run program...first "public option", now "coop".
    Do wikipedia search on socialism...COOP is key component. America is a great republic, reject socialist notions!! Obama is a fraud!

    August 18, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Emma

    A co-op system would not allow profit-making as a result of others illnesses.

    August 18, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. Obama 2.0

    Of course the GOP is. Everyone knows that they do not want to go against the big companies.

    August 18, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. BB

    Empower patients? Has this man ever been sick? My insurance company determines which claims they will pay and which ones they won't. My insurance company, not my doctor, determines if care for a condition is "appropriate". How does that empower me? Enough of this nonsense, people are getting sicker, going bankrupt, and dying because we have a broken system and a public that is so ignorant that they are unable to think critically for themselves. I am 32 and I am not willing to bankrupt my future for baby boomers who are to selfish to fix this problem in their lifetime. They are the reason the system is verging on collapse. It is time to stop being selfish and work together to fix these gargantuan problems. Our children deserve better than this.

    August 18, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Vanessa

    I don't understand why people are so afraid of having the option of government facilitated public health care. Nor do I understand the immense fear of socialization. Police, education, fire departments, libraries, our roadways are all socialized, government facilitated programs that provide necessary services that enhance our society and are primarily proficient and successful services.

    August 18, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Billy J Texas

    Face it. Between the blood sucking insurance and banking execs, and the peoples willlingness to deny that the folks they elect are not on their side, we are going to be a third world country soon. From Bill Clinton's NAFTA and Bush's looking the other way while the banks and CEO's steal our money to the limp retreat that Obama is making from a public option. We are doomed. It is over. We will all be uneducated, poor, and living in squalor except for the few folks who took their stock market money to Europe to live, by the year 2050. No matter how hard you work, the game is rigged. I believe in hard work and an education for that work at least. But the middle class cannot survive the Talibanisation of America.

    August 18, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Melanie

    What about helping patients get closer to the care they need without insurance companies and their need for profit getting in the way?

    August 18, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Kevin -- Evansville, Indiana

    "Health care reform should start and end with empowering patients"

    This says absolutely NOTHING.

    August 18, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. Eleanor

    Sooooo...how much money has *he* taken from the insurance companies and big pharma?

    August 18, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Zach

    I agree be very wary. Obama has proven to be so underhanded and deceptive he has lost my trust completely. Healthcare needs to be reformed bu not by co-ops.

    August 18, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. T from Texas

    Other than war, helping the rich get richer and big business get bigger, can anyone please tell me what members of the GOP are for? They certainly do not seem have the well being of the working class American in mind as they continue to say and vote NO!

    August 18, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Limbaugh is a liberal

    First republicans decry public option and THEY propose health care co-ops. Now that they've gotten their way they push back even further decrying co-ops, an idea that came from them in the first place! They won't stop until the health care bill is chopped down to one sentence: 'we declare that the current health care system should remain as it is, except give even more money to private health insurance companies.'

    August 18, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. a butcher named price

    how priceless.

    i would NRVER want a butcher like you to even come close to me

    never mind trusting you with my health!

    August 18, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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