Local News

April 6, 2013

Congressman: Health care ‘threatened by Washington’

The federal government will fail to provide quality health care when the Affordable Care Act goes into full swing next year, says U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-6th District.

Price visited Hamilton Medical Center Friday morning for the first time and said he was reminded of his time as an orthopedic surgeon as he toured the hospital’s labs.

His assessment of Hamilton?

“In spite of challenges that exist, everyone here is doing very good,” he said.

Price said health care is becoming challenging because “it is threatened in so many ways by Washington right now.”

“We’re going to see the new health care system in its full glory in a relatively short time,” he said. “A system the federal government believes is best for you. ... It’s not best for you. What’s best for you is what you and your doctor decides is best for you and not what the government decides is best for you.”

Price’s district lies in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. He lives in Roswell.

Price said he felt a “red flag” last week when the Obama administration announced the new system will have a single health care plan for small business by 2014 and not a variety of plans as several expected.

“I just hope that sends a red flag to others,” he said. “Especially people who don’t realize the federal government can’t do this job ... they will run it and have an outcome that is adverse to the health quality for citizens across this state and the country. Nobody believes one plan fits all and so now the administration is saying they’re not able to do the job right.

“It’s just wrong. That’s not the way health care works best ... that’s not how physicians work best for their patients.”

Another concern Price says he has is the possibility that several employers won’t offer health coverage anymore, forcing several million people to opt for government-controlled exchanges, which provide insurance plans with different ranges of coverage for those without employer benefits.

The Congressional Budget Office projects up to 8 million workers will lose their employer-provided health insurance by 2022.

“I think it’s going to be a whole lot more,” Price said. “I think it will be millions more ... if not over a 100 million people who lose the ability to have the health coverage they want or currently have.

“Why? Because employers are going to say, ‘It doesn’t make economic sense for us to continue to provide health coverage when that cost is going up and up and up.’ When the penalty for not providing health care is less expensive for an employer ... and the individual is required to get health care by law ... people will get forced into an exchange.”

Price is also worried about the impact of the new health care system on the federal budget.

“It’s a budget buster,” he said. “The Congressional Budget Office originally estimated the cost of the legislation is going to be about $950 billion. Now the estimate is over $2 trillion over a 10-year period of time and those are numbers that are not sustainable. Sadly, what that means is the federal government will come in and say, ‘You can’t have the kind of health care you want.’ ... That’s bad news.”

The good news to Price?

“There are wonderful positive solutions out there,” he said. “That’s what some of us in Congress continue to push for. I call it patient-centered health care. That’s where patients and families and doctors are making the health care decisions, not the federal government. That’s where we hope to move Washington over the coming years ... (legislation) that makes it to where Washington isn’t controlling your health care. I think that’s the vision the American people have.”

But congressmen aren’t the only ones who can change the new health care system if they’re unhappy with it next year, Price said.

“The regular citizen out there needs to recognize that huge changes are coming,” he said. “They need to let their representatives at the state and federal level know that what they want is the greatest number of choices for themselves and their families. The last thing people want or desire is for the federal government to decide what kind of health care they will receive. That’s the message I want to deliver.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Investigation into MFG chemical accident continues

    An investigation is still ongoing after a MFG Chemical employee was injured earlier this month at a plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

    July 25, 2014

  • Judge sets $100,000 bond for Cohutta man accused of incest, molestation

    A Cohutta man charged with incest, aggravated sodomy and child molestation was granted a $100,000 bond over the prosecutor’s objection on Friday.

    July 25, 2014