The Republican leadership in the House is releasing its own version of health reform to compete with Democratic proposals. It is interesting timing to be sure. When Republicans controlled Washington no comprehensive health reform bill was introduced. Now that Republicans are out of power apparently health reform is urgently needed.
It’s strange that Republicans are introducing a new bill when Sens. Richard Burr and Tom Coburn teamed up with Rep. Paul Ryan to file health care bills in the House and Senate. Do the House Republican leaders not like the Patients’ Choice Act? Perhaps they are uncomfortable about introducing a bill that is essentially a watered down version of the Democratic legislation. Or maybe they are nervous about some of the politically controversial points in Burr’s bill, including ending the tax exemption for health care premiums paid by employers.
The rebuke to Burr’s bill is interesting because Burr at least proposes some gutsy changes to the health care system. The changes are not politically feasible, but he certainly gets credit for having some spine — as opposed to the Republican House leadership that is introducing legislation that will cost nothing and do nothing.