What Does Patient-Centered Health Care Look Like?

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) 72% and Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) 75% joined Heritage Action for the 2014 Conservative Policy Summit earlier this month to discuss their health care proposals in the House.

Both lawmakers, physicians by trade, know the intricacies of the health care system in America.

Before discussing his bill, the Empowering Patients First Act (H.R. 2300), Rep. Price said it’s important to think about what patient-centered health care is.

What it means to me is that, as a physician for over 25 years taking care of patients, patients and families and doctors [are] taking care and making medical decisions and not Washington D.C.  Or not insurance companies.  Patients and families and doctors ought to be the ones making medical decisions.  

Accessibility, affordability, quality, responsiveness, innovation, and choice are the principles Rep. Price says are truly necessary for patient-centered care to be possible.

No one should be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, and such denials could be remedied with “robust pooling mechanisms” such as individual membership associations that sell health care plans across state lines.

Defensive medicine hinders the principles of patient-centered health care, Rep. Price explained. Every year, defensive medicine wastes $800 billion, or 1 out of every 3 health care dollars.  That needs to change.

Doctors should “do the right thing as it relates to a patient, not because of what the Secretary of Health and Human Services said, but because of what scientists, and their colleagues, and that specialty’s society say based upon appropriate guidelines.  If they do the right thing, they ought to have a safe harbor essentially in a court of law.”

Rep. Roe, a physicians of 31 years and a co-sponsor of Rep. Price’s bill, discussed his own bill, the American Health Care Reform Act (H.R. 3121).

Rep. Roe shared a stunning revelation about how Obamacare was developed:

I got here in 2009, just as the health care debate opened up, and I still find this the most astonishing thing about the health care debate of all.  We had 9 physicians at our health caucus, doctors caucus.  We have 15 now.  Not one of us was asked one thing about the health care bill, what we thought about it… Nobody cared.


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