Congressman Roy Blunt is clashing with a top California Democrat over how much government health plans should be involved in reforming the system.
California Democrat Henry Waxman says any new system would best work with "creative tension" between public and private insurers, according to Reuters.
"If the government is one of the competitors, eventually there are no competitors left," Blunt told a meeting of the Federation of American Hospitals.
"Competition is important. The president said he wanted competition and wanted the private sector out there," Blunt said. "But the government doesn't have to factor in what the real world has to factor in," he added -- for example overhead and other costs.
Blunt also promised a fight on a plan to set up an independent organization to compare different treatments: "An awful lot of people think that this is the first billion-dollar step toward the government deciding what kind of healthcare you should get," Blunt said. "If you are a 59-year-old guy like me, I am pretty sure I don't want the government making that decision."