With the Democrats’ health-care legislation having cleared the last legislative hurdle, it is all but inevitable that President Obama will be signing it into law. Is this the end of the road for the debate, or is there a way forward for real reform that puts decisions into the hands of health-care consumers rather than the government? National Review’s panel of health-care watchers weighs in.
REP. TOM PRICE Last night in the House of Representatives, a majority of Democratic lawmakers, led by the liberal wing of their party, flagrantly ignored the wishes of the American people. It was an oppressive and arrogant move to cram through a massive expansion of government authority — one that will severely damage the accessibility, affordability, and quality of health care in this nation.
This is not a victory for patient-centered health care. And so the fight to enact commonsense reforms to preserve and protect patient-centered health care must go on, and it will go on. The American people are eager to embrace a plan that will expand access, preserve quality, provide coverage for those with preexisting conditions, strip away the barriers to insurance competition, and finally address the runaway costs of lawsuit abuse. These are just a few of the items that would positively reform health care in this nation while not sacrificing the care already enjoyed by millions of American families.
The cause of patient-centered health reform will continue even in the face of the Democrats’ big-government agenda. I, along with my conservative colleagues in Congress, will press on against this takeover and for solutions all Americans can embrace.
– Rep. Tom Price is a physician and chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
SCOTT GOTTLEIB The question arises: What next? How will the health-care landscape evolve on the heels of Obamacare’s passage? Economic forces provide some clues.
The insurance market will begin to shake up almost immediately, as health-care plans jockey for advantage in advance of the legislation’s full implementation. Insurers will begin pulling out of the individual market, and they will aggressively hike premiums in the small-group market. These consequences are the market’s response to the bill’s new regulations, which effectively prevent insurers from underwriting risk. Insurers are forced to take all comers and, in many cases, they will decide that certain business lines are no longer profitable.