Fiscal conservatives and free market advocates are calling out U.S. Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee for his new health care legislation they say is almost as bad as something Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would push.
Writing for The Daily Caller, Tea Party Nation funder Judson Phillips said Alexander’s bill “will bring the country closer to socialized medicine.”
“Make no mistake about it: there’s nothing good in Alexander’s bill. If it passes, the LHCC Act will move the American health care landscape even further to the left than Democrats moved it with Obamacare. The left’s dream of single-payer will move from the street to the doorstep, all under conservatives’ watch,” Phillips wrote.
“By ordering care providers to set a ‘median in-network rate’ for services, the system will dance dangerously close to the command-and-control schemes pushed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the Medicare for All crowd.”
Phillips went on to say it, like Obamacare, will limit choice, increase costs, and worsen the doctor and hospital shortages.
Drew Johnson, a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, said Alexander’s bill has no semblance of free market principles.
“Republican values of limited government and economic freedom are utterly absent from the legislation. The bill is big government through and through,” Johnson wrote.
“In an attempt to solve the issue of surprise medical billing, the LHCC would institute a system of price controls – a favorite policy among the progressive left. The bill would task the federal government with mandating the amount hospitals and doctors can charge for their out-of-network services. By linking the price of particular medical services to their comparable Medicare rates, the LHCC would ensure that physicians no longer free to set the value of their own labor. Rather, it would be up to the federal government to dictate how much doctors are worth.”
Alexander spokesman William Heartsill referred The Tennessee Star to an article Alexander wrote about the bill.
“Insurance companies already negotiate with doctors, hospitals, and other health-care providers to establish in-network, market-based rates. Under the bill, providers who don’t join insurance networks would be paid the median, or middle, amount set in each local market. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this approach would save taxpayers $25 billion over the next ten years,” Alexander wrote.
“This legislation does not allow the federal government to set rates. Nor can insurance companies unilaterally set rates. The market will set a price that reflects the cost of providing care in that area.”
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