When Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released her healthcare bill yesterday, the Republicans were quick to jump on it.
GOP leader John Boehner led a press conference to voice his concerns about the bill an hour or so after Pelosi was done presenting it outside. He walked carrying the nearly 2,000 page house bill, which he dropped with a thud onto the podium.
“Through August and September, the American people made it clear they want no part of a government-run system for providing health care,” he said. “[But] this bill amounts to a government takeover of our health care system.”
First, if Mr. Boehner had bothered to read the bill, he would see that it does not amount to a government takeover of the system; in fact, to some progressives, a lot of it is a cave-in to the insurance industry. But that never stopped a good talking point, even if it’s not true. (For the real whopper, check out the ad that the US Chamber of Commerce is running on cable TV. It’s impressive how many lies and distortions they can cram into 30 seconds.) Mr. Boehner also says “the American people made it clear they want no part of a government-run system for providing health care.” Um, no, actually they are highly in favor of it if recent polls are any guide. And as Steve Benen says, “As for the alleged perils of a ‘government-run system for providing health care,’ I’ll look forward to Boehner’s press release calling for the elimination of Medicare, Medicaid, the V.A. system, and S-CHIP.”
Second, if the GOP is so all-fired worked up about reforming healthcare, they have had all the time they need to come up with a plan of their own. They promised that they were putting the “finishing touches” on their plan in June.