GOP Rep.: Obamacare Alternatives Met With ‘Crickets’ From White House

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., questions ousted IRS Chief Steve Miller and J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, as they testify during a hearing at the House Ways and Means Committee on the I... Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., questions ousted IRS Chief Steve Miller and J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, as they testify during a hearing at the House Ways and Means Committee on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) practice of targeting applicants for tax-exempt status based on political leanings on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Friday, May 17, 2013. MORE LESS
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President Barack Obama’s refrain of late is that he’s happy to hear ideas from Republicans that could improve the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

But Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) insisted Monday that he’s been stonewalled by the White House when bringing up his own alternate health care measure.

“We’ve actually called him. We’ve contacted the White House repeatedly, and silence,” the vice-chair of the House Budget Committee said on “Fox & Friends.” “It’s crickets.”

“The fact of the matter is they don’t want to have to talk about the quality of health care, accessibility of health care, affordability of health care,” he continued. “What they want is the government to control health care.”

Price’s proposal, the Empowering Patients First Act, has been introduced in three different Congresses since 2009. The plan would allow customers to purchase across state lines and give individuals the same tax incentives to purchase coverage as businesses, he said, with the goal of giving customers “coverage that they want, not coverage the government forces them to buy.”

The Republican Party has so far not reached a consensus on an alternative proposal to the Affordable Care Act. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) demurred when asked a few weeks back whether the GOP would bring alternative health care legislation up for a vote in 2014. Boehner has not endorsed Price’s bill, nor has he allowed a vote on it on the House floor.

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