GOP lawmaker lays out his alternative for ObamaCare

Rep. Phil Roe speaks out


This is a rush transcript from "Your world," December 5, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: ... used to say, well, we're going replace it with something better. There's not even a pretense now that they're going to replace it with something better.

OBAMA: There's a reason why the opponents of this law throughout have never been able to actually offer a better alternative.

OBAMA: You still think this law is a bad idea, then they have got to tell us specifically what you would do differently.

REP. STENY HOYER, D-MD., HOUSE MINORITY WHIP: We have a repeal with no replacement, no alternative.

OBAMA: They have some better ideas, I have already told them I'm happy to hear them. But I haven't heard any so far.


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Then, Mr. President, you haven't been watching this show, because we have featured no fewer than a half-a-dozen congress men and women who have plans of their own, and they have been sitting on the shelf and out there for the world to see.

So Republicans have come up with a number of plans that would counter the one the White House is now pushing.

Congressman Phil Roe of Tennessee is one of them.

Congressman, I will tell you, it always bugs me, because I don't care what side you take on this, but to assume one side is just attacking and not coming up with alternatives of its own -- now, yours is fairly recent, but the theme is fairly consistent, with Republicans who want to look at a private market approach and a much more efficient way of doing this, how will yours work?

REP. PHIL ROE, R-TENN.: Well, the way it works, Neil -- and before I answer that, your previous guest, with these large deductibles, let me pass a little factoid along that hospitals are seeing now.

In our local area, 40 percent of the non-collectible debt are people with insurance. And so the higher these deductibles go and the higher the out-of-pockets are, the more and more you're going to see. So providing somebody insurance doesn't mean that it's going to pay for anything. And that's something we're seeing already.


CAVUTO: That's a -- no, that's a very good point. You carry a little bit more weight because you're a doctor here yourself. But explain how yours will work.

ROE: Well, the way it does, we -- we were asked to put a bill together with a Republican study committee. I was asked to chair it. They had a great committee that said we want a bill that doesn't have any mandates, that people are not forced to do it if they don't want to.

Number two, it's market-driven. There are no new taxes. And you have to equalize tax treatment. And we really have six parts to the bill. It's a 180-page bill. You can read it in an hour-and-a-half.

It will increase -- and the premise, Neil, of the Affordable Care Act, I completely agree with, which is to lower costs and to increase access. I 100 percent agree with that. What we do is, we repeal the Affordable Care Act. Number two, we do something in tax treatment that should have been done 70 years ago, and we equalize the tax treatment between an individual and a company.

Now, I have used myself as an example. When I worked in a medical practice, our practice provided the insurance. When I retired the next day to run for public office to run for Congress, I had to pay first dollar.

And what we do is give a family a $20,000 standard deduction for health insurance. Let's say you make $60,000 a year. Your taxable income is only $40,000. Hey, guess what? If you find a policy that costs $15,000, which is going to ask you to shop, not have the government tell you what to buy, but to shop and find what's in your best interests, and let's say it cost $15,000, you still get that extra $5,000 deduction.

And it's $7,500 for an individual. We allow you to buy across state lines.


CAVUTO: Well, what are -- all this sounds great, sir, but what are Democrats saying? Because they say Republicans, you guys are doing squat.

ROE: Well, I -- they're absolutely wrong about that. I heard that intro with the president, and he said this four years ago.

CAVUTO: That's right.

ROE: And I wrote him a letter, and said, I will be glad to go over this line by line and share ideas that actually work.

And, look, in Tennessee, we have gone through a failed health care experiment called TennCare. Haven't heard a word yet.


ROE: I spoke to the president in the White House one day, along with two of my physician colleagues who were there.

CAVUTO: All right.

ROE: We're still waiting on a phone call back. That's just -- just political rhetoric, Neil.

CAVUTO: Doctor, Congressman, thank you very, very much.

ROE: Thank you.

CAVUTO: I want to point out that he is one of half-a-dozen with such policies and such procedures and ready to go if anyone is even remotely interested.

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