The Washington Times - December 4, 2013, 07:44AM

Rep. Tom Cole said Wednesday that he welcomes President Obama’s request that Republicans step forward with alternative health care proposals, pointing out there are more than 200 pieces of health care-related legislation that GOP lawmakers have put forward.

Mr. Cole, though, said the problem is that Mr. Obama and Democrats simply do not want to hear the GOP’s market-oriented health care proposals.

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“We put a lot more faith in individual choice and markets than you do,” the Oklahoma Republican said during an exchange on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with Zeke Emanuel, a health adviser to the president. “You want a government-controlled system. You want to micromanage it. Our basic philosophy is that doesn’t work very well. Government is not good at doing that, and honestly this has been a colossal failure, and our critique has been worn out.”

Mr. Emanuel responded that the the state health care exchanges created under the law is, in fact, a free-market idea that allows insurance companies to compete for customers and allows people to see the price of insurance and decide which policy is best for them. He said that has helped drive down the price of insurance in California.

“Well, actually the price of insurance hasn’t gone down,” Mr. Cole said. “The reality is under this system, you are going to have millions of winners, I acknowledge that, but you are going to have tens of millions of losers as well, and you are getting government into a marketplace that it doesn’t understand, that it doesn’t manage well. That is why more people have lost insurance so far than gotten insurance out of this system.”

“Honestly, let’s be real, the United States government isn’t Amazon,” he said. “They don’t do this very well.”