House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) was interviewed this morning on NPR, and he was asked about healthcare. He said the Republicans want lower costs, portability, access for all, and coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Great; that’s pretty much what the president outlined in his initial proposal back last spring and what he said at the joint session a couple of weeks ago. So far so good; let’s get going if you agree with all of that. Whoa, not so fast.
I sent [the] president a letter back in May outlining some of the things we’d like to do in health care and asking for a meeting. And I got a nice, polite letter back that said basically, ‘Thank you. We’ll see you at the end of the process,’
I think Mr. Boehner has been out in the sun too long. The last time the president had all of the GOP leadership over to the White House to talk about healthcare, he offered up some ideas. He even said he was willing to give up some things to get the Republicans on board. But what were they willing to give up? What were they bringing to the table? Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. Bupkus. All the GOP has done since then is plan to kill anything the president came up with, so why bother? And Mr. Boehner has done nothing but put out misinformation and flow charts. He promised a Republican version of a healthcare bill back in July, but so far … [crickets]
Now Mr. Boehner wants to stop everything and start all over again.
I just think it’s time for the president to hit the reset button. Let’s just stop all of this. Let’s sit down in a bipartisan way and find a way to agree on those things that will make the current system work better.
Nice try. Why dance around all this, Mr. Boehner? Oh, you make nice noise about affordability and portability, but when you spend the summer trying to scare the crap out of people with misrepresentations (or, to put it more bluntly, lies) about the Democrats’ plan, you might as well just drop the pretense and say that you really don’t want healthcare reform at all. For one thing, making “the current system better” would only make things better for the insurance companies and the corporations that make obscene profits from the business and then give you a piece of it so you can keep on lobbying for the current system. That’s one of the reasons behind your delaying tactics; Sen. Pat Roberts said so in the Senate Finance Committee.
The second reason is because the GOP knows that if healthcare reform passes and people suddenly find out that they can have affordable health insurance that won’t be taken away if they lose their job or have a history of acne or there’s a cheaper plan out there offered with the public option, they’re going to remember at the polls in November 2010 who got it for them… and who tried to stand in the way.
Update: Glenn Thrush notes that today marks the 100th day since the GOP promised they would produce a healthcare plan to counter the Democrats. When asked where it is, the reply basically came back as “Neener, neener.”