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. Crock

    this is all smoke and mirrors..the republicans and blue dog dems need to get on board with helping 'we, the people'...show us how much money they each get from insurance lobbying...then we can judge if they deserve to go back to woirk for US

    August 18, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Anthony, Reno

    So the Democrats offer the "public option", Republicans scream and yell until the "public option" is nearly killed, and now they're not satisfied?

    At this point, I really could care less what they think. They're going to vote against it anyway because it's a Democrat's plan.

    August 18, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. Chipster

    Well, Duh! There's nothing in the proposed Bills that shovels cash to pharmaceutical or insurance companies, or any other Republican Party contributors. Even the co-op option doesn't do that, nor does it include vouchers for upper middle class people who already have health insurance. There's simply nothing in it to benefit the Republican Party so why would Price find it attractive?

    The goal is to cover those people who have no insurance and end up in the emergency room at death's door because they can't afford preventive care. They don't go until they're so sick that it costs taxpayers a fortune to treat them and then it may be too late to save them anyhow. It's costing the nation a fortune but who out there actually understands that.

    Oh, and by the way, Tort Reform is a joke on the American people. Tort reform would possibly save a whopping 1/3 of 1% of the cost of health care. It simply isn't the huge burden that the GOP portrays it to be.

    August 18, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. Mississippi Mike

    These "co-ops" are basically a government option as Price stated. Basically, the government would be running the co-ops anyway, why not just avoid the smoke and mirrors and come out and say that it's public option or no bill. That's what it really boils down to.

    August 18, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. S M R

    This is the same guy who is against regulation of Banks, wallstreet and the Auto Industry. This is the same guy who praised the Bush Administration. This guy is a REPUBLICAN HACK DOWN DEEP.

    August 18, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. barbara

    I do appreciate a desire to keep government out of our lives as much as possible. However, the private sector in health care have had ample opportunity to do the job correctly and they have failed. I am one of the many who have been refused coverage due to an pre-existing condition, even after 13 years of no further symptoms. Thankfully, I am now covered with Medicare and and have had my first visit with my Doctor (he was my choice) and he has determined me to be very healthy. When the private sector fails to provide such necessay services as power, water, healthcare, etc, for whatever reason, it is a government responsibility to become engaged. The plans currently being considered look like a very viable way of making a bad situation much, much better.

    August 18, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Kevin B

    GOP has not a shred of goodwill or concern for 40 to 50 million americans uninsured. The GOP political strategy in a nutshell is as follows:

    -Acorn
    -Pull the plug on grandma
    -Death panels
    -Birth certificate
    -Socialistic
    -"I fear for my country"
    -Blah, blah, etc, etc................

    The above slogans are nothing more than euphemisms for: we hate the first biracial president.

    I wish republicans at least had the balls to just admit thier thinnly veiled racism instead of basing thier argument against health care reform on lie after lie.

    America is beginning to look like a bunch of childish and easily manipulated fools who can not even look out for our own interest.

    August 18, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. George

    He does not want the insurance companies to compete, thus losing any money that can go into his CEO friend's pockets. He could care less about good care. He is there to protect the top dogs, not to protect the people who voted him in.

    August 18, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. Deep Throat

    Pure and simple, NO DARN CO-OPS!!!

    August 18, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    Single payer government-sponsored plan to compete with big insurance? NO! Non-profit co-ops? NO!

    Awesome work, guys! Now those insurance company execs can stop worrying about keeping their million dollar bonuses. Well, I mean, after you reinstate the Bush tax cuts.

    August 18, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. Jim

    You want to empower patients by continuing the existing abuse of most insurance companies? How, exactly, does that empower the patient? When governing boards made up of accountants make decisions about transplant patients, and doctors opinions are "noted" then ignored, how is that empowering the patient? The only thing the insurance companies empower are the investors.

    August 18, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. GOP weary of progress

    when is the GOP not weary

    the party of 'no' has done such a good job of yelling no with out any sort of 'try this instead' with specifics

    I hope they get out of the woods and suggest real solutions

    either that or a third party comes forward and challenges them, they are ineffective

    August 18, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. Kevin B

    Why in the world should our health care continue to be used to increase the profit margins of corporate share holders? the GOP essentially is supporting profits over people.

    Denial of access to health care to increase profit margin which is the insurance business model is rationing and creates corporate death panels.

    America get a clue please..............

    August 18, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Angie in PA

    Republicans are against everything except WARS! If it doesnt help Big Business and corporate American then guess what their against it

    and readDutch/Bad news Va He is right! 100 percent right!

    August 18, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    The GOP's response to co-ops shows exactly why Pres Obama and Congessional Democrats should not abandon the government-sponsored public option. The GOP are not interested in compromise...they are solely interested in "their way or the high way". They gought against the single provider so nne of the current bills/plans have that in it. They raised a fuss about the public option and had some Dems willing to abandon the option. Now as the alternative of co-ops gains momentum, they want to shoot this down as well. The hell with compromise, let's get the health care refrom done now!

    August 18, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. Hammerer

    There are a lot of "heavyweights" in the congress,the media, liberal left, old politicans and union officals that are sold on paying for the health insurance of the welfare bunch. I think that they should show that they are not just blowing smoke and pool their resourses and donate free insurance policies to the people that they are trying to force the working people to subsidize. That would show that you really care and are not just talking. Obama said, if you can believe him, that he was willing to sacrifice for the poor. He could start it and all of his followers could join him. Obama could probably make the donations a legal tax write off.

    August 18, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. carlo

    Is anyone suprised? The GOP isn't going to vote for anything that Obama supports. They demanded all of those cuts to the stimulus, and only two of them supported it.

    August 18, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Fort Lauderdale

    Mr. Kibbe owes us an explanation of what his ideas are that will bring the people closer to the care they need without being crowded out of their own wallets. Or, as a physician, maybe he prefers the latter option.

    August 18, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. TCM

    African
    Negro
    Afro-American
    Black
    African American....

    Single Payor
    Public Option
    Co-op

    two examples of the same thing, with progressively different advertising logos assigned to try and give the public a different opinion.....

    You can put lipstick on a pig, Obama......

    August 18, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Steve (the real one)

    When liberals attempt to prove the government can run healthcare well they always point to the military, fire departments, police departments. And they do work well but are not indicators that government hands in healthcare will work out well. Wonder why liberals NEVER mention AMTRAK as an example!. It is government run! AMTRAK has NEVER been profitable. The President called out the Post Office! Social Security and medicare/medicaid is going broke. Government programs all. Why do you think government run healthcare will avoid the same fate?

    August 18, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Greg Erie, PA

    Imagine that. Republicans aren't just against a public option, they're against any option that may hurt the profits of private health insurers. Once again they stand up for big business and stand on us little people. What a surprise.

    August 18, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. mixx mic

    Screw the GOP, lets get this healthcare reform bill passed. No one likes the GOP and don't trust old scary pale guys anyway

    August 18, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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