Friday, July 24, 2009

Plans? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Plans

So far all the Republicans have been able to do is complain about the president’s health care reform proposals, and they’ve done a very thorough job of filling the airwaves with talking points (fed to them by insurance company think tanks) about exploding deficits and government-run plans to take away your choices, make you stand in line for a heart transplant, and elbow your way through all the Canadians who are pouring over the border from Windsor and Vancouver because the socialized medicine system in the True North is a disaster. So you would think that they would come up with something of their own, right? Eh, not so fast.

Rep. Roy Blount (R-MO), chair of something called “The House GOP Health Care Solutions Group” said that the GOP isn’t going to offer an alternative plan.

Our bill is never going to get to the floor, so why confuse the focus? We clearly have principles; we could have language, but why start diverting attention from this really bad piece of work they’ve got to whatever we’re offering right now?

So rather than come up with something of their own, they would much rather attack what the Democrats are offering. Beats thinking, I suppose. Later he backtracked and said that “[o]ur reform plan to lower costs, increase access, and improve quality was released weeks ago and it is well-known.” It is? Have you seen it? House Minority Leader John Boehner said they’re putting the finishing touches on their bill but wouldn’t release it until they see what the Democrats are offering… if they release it at all.

This isn’t the first time the GOP has played hide-and-seek with their so-called “plans.” Remember back in the spring when they came out with a “budget” to counter the one sent up by President Obama? It was unique in that it was four pages of talking points and didn’t have any numbers in it.

I think it would be great if the Republicans would come up with something to offer as an alternative to whatever the Democrats come up with. That’s how it’s supposed to work. But if all you offer is criticism of the other guy’s idea, that’s not leadership. It’s what we in the business world call MBB: Management By Bitching.