It's not Obamacare, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Wednesday of new state health care legislation, virtually ensuring comparisons.
Dewhurst unveiled the two new health care bills with state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, the bills' author, at a press conference Wednesday. The legislation will encourage doctors and hospitals to work together to "improve medical outcomes by incentivizing doctors and hospitals to use best practices and focus on wellness and prevention, rather than the number of procedures they perform," Dewhurst said.
Specific provisions in the two bills include the establishment of a statewide doctor-payment system based on improving patient care quality and finding efficiencies. Another provision would reduce Medicaid payments to doctors when patients are readmitted for preventable illnesses.
And without prompting, notes the Austin American-Statesman, the lieutenant governor was sure to add that the bills were the "furthest thing" from President Barack Obama's federal health care reform.
But comparisons revealed some similarities. Both the state bills and federal law make reference to programs looking to reduce "potentially preventable admissions." And federal reform references "Accountable Care Organizations," which are effectively medical homes that manage patients' primary care, similar to the "Health Care Collaboratives" mentioned in the state legislation, the Tribune's Emily Ramshaw noted.
How significant is the overlap? Republican Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, chairwoman of the House Public Health Committee, told the Statesman that the federal law included some "good ideas."
And Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, said, "At some point in time, there is a consensus on stuff."
The big difference is that there is no individual mandate to buy health insurance... but Dewhurst saying "it's not Obamacare" did seem to raise red flags in the same way that a teenage girl putting about a gallon of makeup on a blemish and then preemptively announcing to the world that it's not a zit it is just a scratch from her dog. O...kay...
Self conscious much?
Dewhurst now needs to make sure this becomes law so any concerns about it being like Obamacare can be soothed because people will see for their own eyes it is very very different... if it fails other candidates can say he tried to push Dewcristcare but thankfully failed and leave it at that...