House GOP pens 230-page health bill draft

Nov 3 2009
By ERICA WERNER
Associated Press Writer
H/T Breitbart News

WASHINGTON (AP) – After months spent criticizing Democrats’ health overhaul plans, House Republicans have produced a draft proposal of their own. It’s much shorter and focuses on bringing down costs rather than extending coverage to nearly all Americans.

A 230-page draft was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. A spokeswoman for Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said changes were still being made before the bill would be finalized in time to offer as an alternative when Democrats begin floor debate on their bill, possibly at the end of this week.

The bill leaves out a number of the key features of the Democrats’ 1,990-page legislation, such as new requirements for employers to insure their employees and for nearly all Americans to purchase insurance. It also doesn’t block insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions, as Democrats would do.

Instead, the Republican plan increases incentives for people to use health savings accounts, caps non-economic jury awards in medical malpractice cases at $250,000, provides various incentives to states with the aim of driving down premium costs and allows health insurance to be sold across state lines.

“As Leader Boehner has made clear, our proposal will focus on the No. 1 concern of the American people—reducing health care costs, and we do it at a price tag our nation can afford,” said spokeswoman Antonia Ferrier, though Republicans have not said how much their bill would cost.

“Our proposal will help struggling middle-class families and small businesses by increasing access to affordable, high-quality health care,” Ferrier said.

Democrats immediately dismissed the Republican plan as insubstantial.

The article continues here.

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