The outspoken Minnesota Republican House member, posting on The Hill’s Congress blog, describes her efforts to get President Obama’s attention to GOP ideas for reforming healthcare delivery that wouldn’t break the bank:
Back in September during an address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama said his office would always be open to Republicans who wanted to present ideas on health care reform. I wrote the President to present my alternatives and request time with the President to discuss them. I took him at his word that the door was open for honest discussion; but I am still waiting for a reply.
To the contrary, Democrats have shut Republicans out of all discussions on drafting the health care bill. In fact, the Democrats are being so hyper-partisan that they’ve physically locked Republican members out of a committee room. So much for the era of post-partisanship that the President and Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi promised.
Bachmann cites this Chicago Tribune editorial:
Over the summer and fall, Republicans in the House and Senate have introduced six — yes, six — health care reform proposals. You didn’t hear? Well, those plans didn’t produce much of a ripple because Democrats dominate the Congress.
We don’t agree with everything in these bills. But the GOP proposals contain smart ideas to increase choice and competition in the health insurance market — a powerful Republican counterpoint to the Democrats’ expensive plans. The ideas include:
–Let insurers sell policies across state lines. That would loosen the strangling state-by-state regulations and unleash competition to drive premium prices down.
–Give people who buy insurance in the private market the same tax breaks as those who get it through employers. Now, employers that offer coverage get a tax break on the premiums they pay for employees. And employees don’t pay taxes on the value of the coverage they receive. People who want to buy insurance in the individual market should get the same tax breaks. That would help millions of people acquire coverage.
–Expand the ability of small businesses, trade associations and other groups to set up insurance pools to offer coverage at more attractive rates.
The Democrats, especially in the Senate, are now at an impasse as they try to craft a health bill that will please everyone, especially an American public terrified of the $1 trillion pricetag of all the bills and the near-certainty that their taxes and/or insurance premiums will rise substantially. Why not try, or even debate, the GOP proposals that promise to bring affordable coverage to many more Americans without bankrupting us and our grandchildren?
Expect even more partisan silence from the Dems.