Where Is the Republicans’ Healthcare Reform Plan?

Amidst all the commotion at town hall meetings and attacks on President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform guidelines, the question arises:  where is the Republican Party’s plan?  The answer is that Republican Congressional leaders chose not to draft a bill encapsulating their own vision.

US-CONGRESS-HEALTH CARE REFORMSome Republicans are challenging this “party of no” moniker.  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who has 2012 presidential aspirations, said it’s time for the GOP “to pivot and say, in addition to emphasizing what we oppose, here are our proposals” for healthcare reform.  Responding to Jindal, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) sees an opportunity to counter Republican attacks on Obama’s proposals, noting that “The Grand Old Party’s coffers are empty when it comes to healthcare reform.”

A “Republican Solutions Handbook” created by the House Republican Conference possibly has the most comprehensive summary of GOP healthcare proposals.  The single-page document offers plans to limit medical malpractice lawsuits and dedicate more resources to stopping “waste, fraud and abuse” in Medicare and Medicaid.  Proposed tax cuts would go to workers without employer-provided health plans and to low-income people to help them buy private insurance.

Representative Roy Blunt (R-MO) has been of two minds on the issue.  On June 17, he said “I guarantee you, we will bring you a bill that costs far less, far less than the Democrats’ and will provide better results for the American people.”  A month later, Blunt wrote on his blog: “Our bill is never going to get to the floor, so why confuse the focus?  We clearly have principles; we could have the language, but why start diverting attention from this really bad piece of work they’ve got to whatever we’re offering right now.”

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