Representative Tom Price’s nomination as secretary of Health and Human Services is stimulating partisan debate about the fate of president Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act (ACA) law. Price is the author of a detailed Obamacare replacement initiative.
As chairman of the House Budget Committee, the congressman helped to create the 2015 budget reconciliation bill that offers a model for how Congress can “repeal and replace” the ACA. Price has also shown support for turning Medicare into a program that subsidizes private health-insurance premiums. Forbes’s Bruce Japsen points out that Price “has railed against the Obama administration’s rapid move away from fee-for-service medicine to value-based care, particularly Medicare’s mandatory bundled payment initiatives.”
Price has also argued that federal policymakers have failed to give sufficient input from “impacted stakeholders” in its efforts to move the system away from unchecked fee-for-service procedures in favor of better health-care outcomes. Price has also been and opponent of initiatives targeting the development of major-disease cures and precision medications made for individual patients.
There are a variety of policy ideas associated with value-based healthcare. Some are old, like using primary-care doctors as gatekeepers to specialist, and some are revolutionary, including big data technologies that target more effective treatments. They all share a common goal: reward good medicine.
Many healthcare providers have enjoyed the riches of the old system — where they called the shots — and both private and public insurers paid the bills. It remains to be seen if Tom Price will fight for his profession’s financial stake in fee-for-service health care or push forward with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation driving the effort towards value-based healthcare.