This post was written by Staff Writer Husna Kazmir.
Seven members of Congress who also work as physicians aired their grievances with public health care in front of a crowd of about 70 in an auditorium at GW Hospital Tuesday afternoon.
The panel, hosted by the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, was called “Reforming America’s Health: From Diagnosis to Prescription” and featured Republican Reps. Michael Burgess of Texas, Bill Cassidy and John Fleming of Louisiana, Phil Gingrey and Tom Price of Georgia, Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania and Phil Roe of Tennessee.
In the hour-and-forty-minute-long forum, the panelists were questioned by three board members of the MSDC and expressed frustration with President Obama’s health care plan, with Gingrey likening it to “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”
“My suggestion is fixing the system we have,” he said, expressing concern about the president’s overhaul, which some estimates say could cost $1 trillion over the next decade. He later added, “You have a socialist bureaucrat in the exam room between the doctor and the patient.”
Roe said his main issue with the proposed plan is that he had seen a similar plan in his home state of Tennessee fail.
“We tried this experiment with a public plan in Tennessee,” he said, referring to TennCare, a 1994 plan designed to expand coverage to the uninsured, which has been plagued by issues of debt and fraud in recent years.
All of the politicians on the panel agreed that the health care system must undergo dramatic changes at any rate, and emphasized the importance of patient benefits.
“If it’s not patient-centric, it’s not gonna work,” Cassidy said.