May 31, 2009 3:39 pm ET
The May 31, 2009 airing of Conservatives for Patients Rights' infomercial on the pitfalls of a single-payer health system (never mind that President Obama does not want a single-payer plan) included CPR founder Rick Scott's "pillars for health care reform." Because Scott's pillars closely follow President Obama's reform guidelines, it is somewhat confusing as to why Scott is against the President's goals.
Rick Scott: What we need to look at in the United States is a free-market system that focuses on, puts patients first and drives down costs and improves outcomes.
Gene Randall: Which brings us back to your four pillars for health care reform.
Rick Scott: Serious health care reform that puts patients first is gonna focus on four things:
First, choice. Giving you as a patient the right to choose your own doctor. Giving you the opportunity to pick the insurance that fits your needs.
Second, competition. You need to know prices, you need to know outcomes from providers who you can shop and compare.
Third, accountability. You deserve the same tax breaks for buying health insurance that employer [sic] gets.
Fourth, personal responsibility. We will never control health care costs unless you are rewarded for not smoking, exercising and eating properly.
Gene Randall: And it's a critical time for discussing all this.
Rick Scott: This is the time to do this. We are going to have health care reform this year, and we just need to make sure we do it right.
Gene Randall: Thank you, Rick.
What is interesting about these four pillars is that Scott seems to be borrowing many of President Obama's own talking points. According to the White House Health Care website:
"The Administration believes that comprehensive health reform should:
- Reduce long-term growth of health care costs for businesses and government
- Protect families from bankruptcy or debt because of health care costs
- Guarantee choice of doctors and health plans
- Invest in prevention and wellness
- Improve patient safety and quality of care
- Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
- Maintain coverage when you change or lose your job
- End barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions" [WhiteHouse.gov, accessed 5/31/09, emphasis added]
President Obama: The Public Health Option Helps "Keep The Private Sector Honest, Because There's Some Competition Out There." During the Health Care Summit at the White House, President Obama said: "The thinking on the public option has been that it gives consumers more choices, and it helps give -- keep the private sector honest, because there's some competition out there." [Health Care Summit, Transcript via Talking Points Memo, 3/5/09]
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