(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (Newscom TagID: rollcallpix064500) [Photo via Newscom]

Rep. Tom Price (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) [Photo via Newscom]

Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) admitted today he almost had “a [Rep.] Joe Wilson moment” when he heard President Obama claim at the recent State of the Union Address that Republicans do not have any ideas for reforming the health care sector.

Wilson, a Republican House representative from South Carolina, shouted to Obama “you lie” twice when the president said at his first state of the union address that his then-proposal for Obamacare would not be available for illegal immigrants.

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Speaking at Heritage’s all-day Conservative Policy Summit convened at The Heritage Foundation by its political action arm, Heritage Action for America, Roe and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) said conservative lawmakers have introduced 150 bills alone in the House of Representatives to improve America’s health sector. “We have asked the President over and over again to talk with us about these ideas but he has refused to do so,” Price said.

While the details range in these bills, Price said most GOP ideas focus on six principles for reforming health care:

  • Health care is accessible
  • Health care services are affordable for individuals and families
  • Health care services are high-quality for patients
  • Health care providers are responsive to patients
  • The health sector continues to be innovative
  • And there are more health care choices for patients

“The President’s health law violates every one of these principles,” Price charged, while Roe likened Obamacare to Tennessee’s problematic Medicaid program, TennCare, “on steroids.” Both said that Obamacare must be repealed for patient-centered reforms to succeed.

Pointing to his legislation that would repeal and replace Obamacare, Price said Americans should have positive incentives to buy health insurance with refundable tax credits. And his bill wouldn’t include any government mandates like those in Obamacare that dictate what kind of health plans Americans must buy, Price noted.

To avoid losing their health insurance from employment changes, Price said his bill would give Americans full ownership of their health policies, regardless of who pays for the plan. Patients with pre-existing conditions would not be denied coverage, Price said, noting that insurers would have the flexibility to create “robust pooling mechanisms” that included high-risk pools and individual member associations that sell health plans across state lines.

The bill also creates safe harbor rules for physicians who feel compelled to practice defensive medicine—or unnecessary tests on patients to avoid litigation. They would be protected from malpractice lawsuits provided that they followed certain protocols set by the medical community, Price said.

Nina Owcharenko, director of Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies, said at the summit panel that multiple proposals for reforming health care would be a welcome change to Obamacare, which was largely negotiated through closed-door meetings before it was released for quick votes that offered less time for debate.

“Let’s have all of these bills go through the mark-up process, be debated, and have a regular legislative process,” she said. “That kind of action helps build momentum to get something passed that has a broader support.”

This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.