Party Leaders Say House GOP Bill To Be Released Soon
"The Republicans' health care bill in the House focuses more on lowering costs than on expanding coverage, party leaders said Monday - setting up a stark divide between the GOP and Democrats who have made near universal coverage a top priority of their bills," Politico reports. House Minority Leader John Boehner "hasn't released the full details of the bill but has said that it would make it easier to buy insurance across state lines, impose strict limits on medical malpractice lawsuits and allow individuals and small businesses to pool their resources to buy insurance as a group. That is designed to boost their purchasing power to help lower individual premiums." In addition, the bill "would also direct federal funds to states that establish pools to defray the costs of covering the most high-risk individuals, encouraging the 16 states that don't to establish them. Republicans think lowering the costs to insure these high-risk individuals is the key to reducing premiums across the entire health care system" (O'Connor, 11/2).
The Hill: House Republicans "are likely to release their bill when Democrats release the (final) manager's amendment of their healthcare bill, according to aides familiar with the GOP strategy. House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) said on Monday that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has had a copy of the yet-to-be-seen bill for the past few days" (Hooper, 11/2).
McClatchy: "One longtime favorite Republican proposal apparently will be absent: The Republican plan will contain no tax incentives for consumers who buy insurance individually," Boehner said. "Chances are that little or none of the Republican plan will become law, since the House has 177 Republicans and 256 Democrats and Democrats control 60 of the Senate's 100 seats. The Republican strategy has two missions: Illustrate what the party stands for, and try to demonize and defeat Democratic initiatives" (Lightman, 11/2).
Meanwhile, "House Republicans are planning a series of attacks and initiatives this week to highlight the shortcomings of the Democratic health care package in hopes of rekindling the fervor of August's town hall protests and giving fence-sitting House Democrats incentive to reject their leadership's plan," Roll Call reports. "GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters Monday that they have encouraged Members to use 'every opportunity,' be it on the airwaves or on the House floor, to talk about their opposition to the 'Pelosi health care bill'" (Kucinich, 11/3).