Congressman Gives Sandy Springs Crowd Republican Take on Changes to Health Care

Dem. State Rep. Stacey Abrams gives a counterpoint but agrees changes to entitlements must be made.


Healthcare was the topic of Georgia Congressman Tom Price's talk, Monday, at a Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber Breakfast. 

“Unless we address the issues of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, we cannot - we will not – grow this economy,” said Price to a crowded room at the Westin Hotel.

Price told the crowd that $2.5 trillion of $3.5 trillion in federal government spending is on entitlements. “You can’t balance the budget without changes to Medicare…Which is why I can’t tell you how excited I am that my party selected Paul Ryan [as the vice presidential pick],” he said.

Whatever side of the health care debate folks fall on, Price said one thing in which most people would agree, there will be a lot of harsh banter slung around the issue in the coming weeks.

“The fact is you will hear over the next 78 days how the plan proposed by my team is going to destroy Medicare. I can make a pretty good argument that’s exactly what the President has done,” the Congressman said.

Gives us your take on the health care debate in the comments below.

According to Price, President Obama has taken $716 billion from Medicare to fund the Affordable Care Act. A Republican proposed defined contribution plan would let people select their own health care coverage, including Medicare, and thereby save money, he said. 

“The proposal that my team has put forward as it relates to Medicare will result in no changes for anybody above the age of 55,” he said. 

Democratic State Rep. says Congress must strike a balance for both sides.

Democratic State Rep. Stacey Abrams told Patch that the $716 billion was reallocated to eliminate waste and fraud. "With Obama’s plan the realignments will make sure the neediest seniors will haves the services they need," she said.

“The Ryan plan would cut benefits…which presumes health care costs, would never change. I would be surprised to find any physician who thinks costs would not ever change," Abrams said.

Bringing up an end to , Price said a Republican solution is to decrease marginal tax rates to get the economy on track.

“If a business is over $250,000, the President wants to increase taxes on you, job creators…Most of you are subchapter S corporations and file under marginal rates,” Price said.

Abrams said there is a myth that small businesses will go under with the end of the Bush tax cuts.  Small business owners should pay taxes commensurate with their tax bracket, she said.

“When they file their taxes, what they have to do is account for their profits and losses, and they get taxed on ordinary income,” Abrams said.

She added, “Price is correct. We are not going to get out of the deficit without taking a look at entitlements. The question is what is the balance that you strike.”

Price indicated that the end of Bush tax cuts will bring unnecessary pain to a weak economy.  “You can’t have a $500 billion increase and expect the economy is going to have any chance of working through the challenges we’ve got,” he said.

The Congressman is running for re-election in Georgia’s 6th District in November. His seat represents North Fulton, East Cobb, Dunwoody, Brookhaven and North Dekalb, parts of Tucker and Doraville.

Tell us in the comments what changes should be made to health care. Should Medicare be touched?

See Also: 

Tom Price's constituent August 21, 2012 at 03:31 PM
"I can make a pretty good argument that’s exactly what the President has done” - Tom Price regarding the Affordable Care Act's affect on Medicare In his presentation, Price had an opportunity to make his "pretty good argument", instead he really didn't make any argument. It could be because the ACA actually bolsters Medicare. The ACA expands coverage so that more elderly are covered. It also covers wellness visits, so old people can get a routine checkup. There's lots of other great benefits, but Price has chosen to lie about it (his fib about the $700 stolen from Medicare). As a doctor, you'd think he'd care not to lie about this issue. As a politician, he's one of the worst.
Tom Price's constituent August 21, 2012 at 04:28 PM
I would have enjoyed being at this meeting. When Price told the lie about how Obama took $700 billion from Medicare, did anyone in the room laugh out loud? That lie had been debunked in the AJC that morning. I wonder if Price had read the PolitiFact article that exposed the $700 billion lie but decided to tell the lie anyway. I wonder if anyone in the room applauded the lie, knowing it was a lie. Or, was the audience generally ignorant of the facts about how Obamacare actually reduced Medicare's expenses (without reducing benefits). If I had been there, I would have laughed-out-loud.


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