Tags: price | obama | healthcare

Price: 'Nervous Democrats' Rethinking Obamacare

By Jim Meyers   |   Thursday, 05 Nov 2009 08:39 PM

Rep. Tom Price of Georgia tells Newsmax that "nervous Democrats" in the House are wavering in their support for their leadership's "terrible, terrible" bill to overhaul the healthcare system.

Rep. Price is chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of conservatives, and is himself a physician. He said the House bill now under consideration would "definitely" face a court challenge over its constitutionality.

Newsmax.TV's Kathleen Walter asked Rep. Price about the massive rally at the Capitol in Washington on Thursday to protest the Democrats' plan for healthcare reform.

See Video: Rep. Tom Price talks about Democratic anxiety over Obamacare - Click Here Now

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"The mood was incredible upbeat and optimistic," Price said.

"Tens of thousands of individuals. They're concerned and they're fearful and they're angry, but they know that this is the greatest nation in the history of the world and that the power within this nation rests with the people.

"They are here to express their concern about a bill that would be an absolute movement in the wrong direction, a government takeover of their healthcare that they're not interested in. They're not interested in the taxes, they're not interested in the rationing. That's the message that we heard."

Noting that a vote on the bill in the House is possible as early as Saturday, Walter asked if the Democrats' legislation can still be stopped.

"There are a lot of nervous Democrats who, if they were to represent their constituents, would be voting against this bill," Price declared.

"The problem is, so far they've just represented their leadership, and that's wrong. That's what the American people are so upset about.

"Those moderate Democrats are talking and I think they're getting very very skittish about voting for a bill that they know their constituents don't want.

"So even if this passes the House, and I'm hopeful that it will not go through in the form that it is in right now, that's just the next step in this process. The Senate has to act and then there has to be a conference committee and then bill has to get to the president.

"We're a long way from the end, but that doesn't mean the American people ought not to be engaging [their representatives], because they must right now make certain that their representatives know how they feel about this terrible, terrible bill."

Price said Democrats are increasingly concerned that their leadership is "pushing them off the cliff." They also note the results of Tuesday's elections, when Republicans won gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, "and they say look, this is not where the nation wants to go.

"The question is, will they have the backbone to stand up and represent their constituents and not their leadership."

Price said a healthcare reform plan put forth by Republicans would be more than a trillion dollars cheaper than the Democrats' bill, achieving those savings by "fixing what's wrong with the current system but keeping what's right, instead of turning over everything to the federal government."

The plan would increase competition among insurance companies by allowing people to purchase insurance over state lines, permit them to form pools to buy insurance at reduced rates, and institute serious tort reform to fight "lawsuit abuse," an issue that none of the Democrats' bills address. Price said that with the GOP plan Americans would see "significant savings without cutting Medicare or increasing taxes."

Walter cited a requirement in the Democrats' House bill that would force Americans to purchase health insurance, and asked Price if it would face a court challenge over its constitutionality.

"If the bill that the Democrats and Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi passes, then it would indeed face a court challenge," he said. "Because I don’t believe, and I would suggest most Americans don't believe, that it is the federal government's role to dictate to free people that they must purchase a specific product, a specific service.

"That's not what we believe in America, and so the individual mandate that you describe is simply wrong. I believe it's unconstitutional and there would be a court challenge most definitely."

Price added that the "status quo is not acceptable. There are some things we need to fix in our healthcare system, and there are some positive things we can do to improve the system that we have, without throwing out the baby with the bathwater."

See Video: Rep. Tom Price talks about Democratic anxiety over Obamacare - Click Here Now

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