Obama’s Health-Care Proposal Could Keep Consumers from Choosing Own Insurance Plan After Five Years, House Minority Leader Says

July 30, 2009 - 6:54 PM
"I think it's pretty clear that the government-run program that they want is going to eventually crowd out the private sector," Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House minority leader, said Thursday.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) (AP Photo)

Washington (CNSNews.com) - President Obama is promoting a “big government-run” health care plan that is going to choke out private sector insurance companies, and will empower the government to eventually design insurance policies for consumers, House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) told CNSNews.com on Thursday.
 
“I think it’s pretty clear that the government-run program that they want is going to eventually crowd out the private sector, and secondly, in their bill it says that after five years, you can’t go out and buy a health insurance policy on your own,” Boehner said. 
 
“You have to go to one of their government exchanges to buy a plan that was designed by the government,” he added. “So it’s pretty clear that we’re going to have a big government-run system that will eventually drive out the private sector plans we have today.”
 
Boehner’s comments came during a press briefing inside the Capitol, in response to CNSNews.com’s question of whether he thinks it is fair to describe the health-care plan being promoted by President Obama as “socialized medicine.”
 
The Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives went on to explain that five years after the Democrats’ health-care reform becomes law, the federal government would decide if health-care benefits provided by employers are satisfactory.
 
“After five years every employer-sponsored health care benefits have to be approved by the Department of Labor and the new Health Choices Czar to make sure that it meets federal standards.”
 
“So it’s pretty clear the government is going to design the health insurance policies that are going to be out there,” Boehner reiterated.
 
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday continued to praise the health-care legislation, which is currently making its way through the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. 
 
The House Ways and Means and Education and Labor Committees already have passed their versions of the bill, and so has the Senate health committee.    
 
Pelosi said a “card” has been handed out to all House members as they go home for the August recess describing what is in store for the American people under health-care reform, adding that people’s economic security is linked to their health security.
 
“Under this legislation, no discrimination for pre-existing conditions, no dropping of your coverage because you are sick, no refusal to renew your coverage if you are paid in full, no more job loss or job decisions being made on the basis of whether you have health insurance,” said Pelosi today during a press briefing inside the Capitol, describing the card’s content.  
 
“No co-pay on preventive or wellness care. No excessive out pocket expenses, deductibles, or co-pay,” she added. “Yearly caps on what you pay, but no cap on your benefits.”
 
The speaker went on to say that revamping the current health-care system is necessary to rectify what she described as “damage” caused by the health insurance companies that have been in place.
 
“These are initiatives that are very important in this legislation and they are to correct what the insurance companies have done to America and to the health of our people over the years,” said Pelosi. “I think it’s very clear that we want a strong a public-option in the legislation.”
 
“Insurance companies are out there in full force carpet-bombing, shocking all against a public option,” she added.
 
Republicans have not been the only ones speaking against the bill. The Blue Dog Democrats -- a coalition of moderate to conservative House Democrats, which is comprised of fiscally conservative democrats have also portrayed concern in regards to the health-care legislation that is currently being discussed. 

The coalition proved to be somewhat effective as House Democratic leaders came to an agreement with the Blue Dogs to reduce the health-care reform proposals’ total cost while a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee revealed that a draft of their health bill will save $100 billion. That would bring the overall cost to less than $900 billion over 10 years, which is just under the original price tag, estimated at about $1 trillion.