When Tom Price dabbled with something like Obamacare

Former Georgia Rep. Tom Price at Trump Tower on Wednesday. AP/Carolyn Kaster

Credit: Greg Bluestein

Credit: Greg Bluestein

Former Georgia Rep. Tom Price at Trump Tower on Wednesday. AP/Carolyn Kaster

Former Georgia Democratic operative Liz Flowers points us to an experimental period in the life of Tom Price, now President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Price now will be the man designated to pull apart the Affordable Care Act. But he wasn’t always of that mindset.

Before he was a member of Congress, Price represented north Fulton County in the state Senate. In 1998, in his second term, the orthopedic surgeon introduced Senate Bill 527, which Price dubbed the "Market Based Medicaid Reform Act."

If not Obamacare, the measure definitely reminds one of Massachusetts’s Romneycare.

The bill, which never went anywhere – the Senate was under Democratic control at the time, was intended to:

-- Create patient awareness of the high cost of medical care;

-- Reduce inappropriate use of health care services;

-- Enable clients to take responsibility for healthy outcomes and lifestyles;

-- Provide incentives to patients to seek preventive and primary care services; and

-- Provide Medicaid recipients vouchers to purchase health care coverage, education, job training, or child care.

Price’s bill called for a pilot program of 250,000 poor Georgians, and said this:

The [state Medicaid] department shall provide health care coverage for participants in the program by entering into contracts or agreements with at least two insurers offering individual or group policies of health insurance with a high deductible.  The department on behalf of the participant shall pay the policy premium.  The department may enter into such contracts or agreements only after taking competitive bids ….


Jamie Dupree of WSB Radio fame has excellent audio of that near-brawl on Thursday between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump operatives at Harvard University.


Politico.com reports that Donald Trump's victory has allowed former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich to up his speaking fees by about $15,000 per delivery. From Politico:

For speeches east of Chicago, he's charging $60,000 plus first class travel for two, and for speeches west of Chicago, he's asking $75,000 plus first class travel for two.


Bruce Levell has floated runs for governor and Congress since Donald Trump's victory. Now the Dunwoody jeweler, who headed the president-elect's diversity coalition, is being mentioned for another gig: Head of the Small Business Administration.

Fortune Magazine listed Levell among three contenders for the agency, which commands a loan portfolio of $124 billion. From the piece:

A former chair of the Gwinnett County GOP, LeVell has been a vocal advocate for Trump in many of the battleground states, as well as a frequent commentator on Fox News and CNN. "I wouldn't rule anything out," LeVell said when asked by Fortune if he was being considered for the post. "I would like to see the SBA play a constructive role as a necessary source of credit for small business." LeVell was also a board director for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).


U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson says he plans to stay out of the already crowded race for the 6th District congressional seat he once held.

At least a dozen Republicans and one Libertarian have indicated they're interested in replacing Roswell Republican Tom Price in Congress should he be confirmed as Donald Trump's secretary of health and human services.

Isakson, whose ascent to the Senate in 2004 cleared the way for Price, said he's "gotten a number of phone calls" in recent days. “I’m here ready to give anybody advice that wants it," he said in an interview Thursday. "But I’m not going to handicap that race at this time."


On the same note, the down-ticket dominoes are starting to tumble. Gus Makris, an east Cobb attorney, appears likely to run for state Sen. Judson Hill's seat next year. Hill announced he would run for U.S. Rep. Tom Price's House seat, forcing him to resign next year if he qualifies.