Barbour Takes On Health Care Issues

In a speech to the Congressional Health Care Caucus, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) discussed a range of issues related to health reform, including the role of consumers in addressing health care costs, state flexibility and, of course, "RomneyCare."

The Washington Post: Barbour Addresses Congressional Health Care Caucus
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday to address a group of House Republicans interested in health care policy. The Washington visit by Barbour, the former chairman of the Republican Governors Association, happened to coincide with the five-year anniversary of the Massachusetts health care reform law — a measure signed into law by another potential White House contender in 2012, then-Gov. Mitt Romney (Sonmez, 4/12).

The Hill: Barbour: Consumers Need To Take On More Health Care Costs
Pushing more health care costs onto consumers is the "only way" to take control over rising health care spending, likely Republican presidential candidate Haley Barbour told the GOP Congressional Health Care Caucus on Tuesday. Greater consumer responsibility for costs, coupled with greater transparency in price and outcomes, "is the only way you're going to see health care costs taken under control or decline," the Mississippi governor said. "As long as you have first-dollar benefits, it's like having a free bar at the cocktail party, versus having a cash bar at the cocktail party," Barbour said. "Believe it or not, people will actually drink more if they have a free bar" (Millman, 4/12).

Politico: Barbour Hits Obama And Romney
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour accused the Obama administration of trying to "force" fellow presidential contender Mitt Romney's health reform plan on his state. "It would not be a good system for us," Barbour said Tuesday at an event hosted by the Congressional Health Care Caucus. "We would not choose it in Mississippi, and frankly, we oppose the Obama administration trying to force it on us" (Kilff, 4/12).

The Associated Press: Barbour Says States Need Flexibility On Health Care
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, considering a White House bid, said Tuesday that states need more flexibility to devise their health care programs for the poor and predicted costs would skyrocket under the health care overhaul pushed by the Obama administration. Barbour said his home state had held down Medicaid costs by requiring face-to-face meetings to determine eligibility for most recipients and promoting the use of generic drugs. But he said many states struggle to receive permission from the federal government to make changes to their programs and those challenges would only increase under the national health care overhaul (4/12). 

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