Republicans Tout Alternative Health Care Reform Plans, React To Dems
Following President Barack Obama's challenge to "let me know" if they had better ideas for a health overhaul, Rep. John Boehner, the House Republican leader, said that their plan, rejected last November by the Democratic majority in the House, would satisfy Obama's goals to "bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured" and improve Medicare, BusinessWeek reports. "The Republican ideas ... may have a bigger role in defining party differences this election year than in crafting a compromise on the health bill. That's because the gap between the two approaches is so wide."
Boehner's plan "would expand coverage to just 3 million uninsured Americans, compared with more than 30 million in bills passed in the Democratic-controlled House and Senate, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. It would cost $61 billion over 10 years. It doesn't require Americans to obtain insurance" (Litvan and Dodge, 1/29).
Inn an interview with Fox News, Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said that, during negotiations, "I had given a number of ideas in the direction that health care should take, and unfortunately those ideas weren't incorporated" (Van Susteren, 1/29).
National Underwriter Life & Health reports on a bill by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called the Roadmap for America's Future Act of 2010: "A Republican lawmaker's ideas for changing health insurance tax rules and federal health and retirement programs might be hard on patients, but they could be great for the budget deficit, according to congressional budget analysts." The plan would modify or revamp health insurance tax laws, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and other spending (Bell, 1/28).
The Salt Lake Tribune: "Sen. Orrin Hatch [R-Utah] threatened an all-out political 'war' and promised a new high in partisan tensions if Democrats employ a rarely used Senate rule to win approval of their health reform bill." In an interview with the paper, Hatch said that using budget reconciliation to pass reform would be "'one of the worst grabs for power in the history of the country' that would permanently impact relations between the two parties" (Canham, 1/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.