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Republicans offer ‘simpler, cheaper’ health plan

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October 31, 2009

Republicans say the Democrats’ proposal to overhaul health care is far too complicated, intrusive and expensive and are urging several steps they claim would bring down costs while not greatly expanding government involvement.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, outlined a health care alternative in the GOP’s weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. It comes as the Democrats’ health care proposals are gaining momentum in Congress and Republicans are scrambling for support to try to block it.

“This 1,990 pages of bureaucracy will centralize health care decision-making in Washington, D.C.,” Boehner argued. “It’ll require thousands of new federal employees. It’ll put unelected boards, bureaus and commissions in charge of who gets access to what drug and what potentially lifesaving treatment.”

Floor debate could begin next week on a sweeping bill developed by House Democrats that extends coverage to 96 percent of Americans, imposes new requirements on individuals and employers to get insurance and provides subsidies for lower-income people. The bill rolled out Thursday includes a new public insurance plan that would pay providers and hospitals at rates negotiated by the health and human services secretary.

“Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill will raise the cost of Americans’ health insurance premiums; it will kill jobs with tax hikes and new mandates; and it will cut seniors’ Medicare benefits,” Boehner said.

Across the Capitol, the Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to begin debate within two weeks on a bill crafted by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Boehner said there is a choice to be made: “We can come together to implement smart, fiscally responsible reforms to improve Americans’ health care or we can recklessly pursue this government takeover that creates far more problems than it solves.”

Boehner said a number of steps could be taken, such as letting people buy health insurance across state lines, allowing people and organizations to pool together to buy insurance for lower prices and reining in malpractice lawsuits.

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On the Net:

GOP health care site: http://www.healthcare.gop.gov

Boehner address: http://www.youtube.com/JohnBoehner