After several weeks of having the Arizona Republican Party link him to the Obama administration and House Democrats, Congressional District 8 candidate Ron Barber released a statement yesterday explaining what he would change in the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
Barber, who is facing Republican Jesse Kelly in the special election to determine who will finish Gabrielle Giffords' congressional term, has a certain degree of latitude that an incumbent would not enjoy. Since he was not in Congress, he didn't have to vote up or down on any controversial legislation, whether it was health-care reform or the stimulus.
In fact, one of Barber's proposed reforms—to work to create outcome-based medical compensation—dovetails with proposals that have come from politicians on both sides of the aisle. Former state lawmaker Jonathan Paton, who is now seeking the Republican nomination in the new Congressional District 1, has often talked about how paying for outcomes rather than procedures is a step toward lowering health-care costs.
Here's the release from Barber:
Today Ron Barber called for reform of the Affordable Care Act, which is currently before the US Supreme Court, and clarified his positions on US energy policy and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Barber offered a plan detailing several aspects of the health care and stimulus legislation that are in need of reform.
"I was not in Congress to vote on the Affordable Care Act or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, nor did I have any role in shaping that legislation—the mail brochures and phone calls saying I did so are simply false," Barber said. "There are several parts of the Affordable Care Act that I do not support, and if I am elected I will work to change them. It all comes down to affordability and consumer choice. We have to make health care more affordable, both because it is the right thing to do for individuals and small businesses, and because our economy as a whole cannot grow as much as it needs to if health care costs continue to rise. We must ensure that consumer choice is not endangered."