White House Trumpets Multiple GOP Ideas In Health Care Bill

February 22, 2010 7:22 a.m.
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Republican leaders didn’t waste any time before lambasting the White House’s plan to salvage health care reform. House Minority Leader John Boehner ripped the White House for “[crippling] the credibility of this week’s summit by proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on a partisan bill the American people have already rejected.”

Not so fast, says the administration. The White House has launched a website laying out a comprehensive list of Republican ideas in its health care proposal.

“Throughout the debate on health insurance reform, Republican concepts and proposals have been included in legislation,” the site reads. “In fact, hundreds of Republican amendments were adopted during the committee mark-up process. As a result, both the Senate and the House passed key Republican proposals that are incorporated into the President’s Proposal.”It’s a familiar refrain. For months Democrats have been at pains to point out that they’ve been receptive to, and even adopted, a number of GOP-inspired ideas as they’ve designed their health care package.

Among those ideas is a GOP-themed measure to provide grants to states to experiment with malpractice reforms, and a provision that allows dependents to remain insured up to the age of 26.

Along the same lines, they’re boxing Republicans in, encouraging them to come to the Thursday health care summit with their own plan, so that the White House can see a full list of their ideas.

House Republicans insist their ideas should be well known to Obama–“Our health care alternative – the full text of the legislation – has been available at healthcare.gop.gov for months, which the President knows, since he discussed it with us in Baltimore a few weeks ago,” says Michael Steel, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner.

The White House insists that its proposal exists as a “opening bid”–a place to begin negotiations with the GOP–but that if the GOP rejects their proposal out of hand, they can move forward without them. Looks like that’s exactly how things are shaping up.

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