Boehner, Republicans set to release own health care plan

Posted Nov 1, 2009 by Oliver VanDervoort
A leading Republican Congressman said Sunday that his party would present by the end of the week its own plan for health care reform, one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities.
John Boehner
Representative John A. Boehner, Speaker of the House.
Courtesy Congressman Boehner
House Minority leader John Boehner spoke after Obama's top allies on Thursday unveiled sweeping compromise legislation, including a government-backed insurance plan to compete with private firms, saying that within a few days, the Republicans would deliver a counter proposal.
"By the end of this week, people will be able to look at one proposal" that provides transparent cost figures and clearly states the number of people to be covered, Boehner told CNN.
Boehner says the Republican proposal will be clearer in terms of the amount of money it will cost, as well as how many people it will cover.
Republicans have long railed against the "public option" that has been included in one form or another in all Democratic reform bills, saying it imposes too much government intervention in the private insurance industry.
Democrats however say a government-backed public option would allow greater numbers of Americans to have health insurance and would compete with private insurers to keep costs down.
Boehner would give no specifics on the Republican plan, but did say it would not increase taxes, cut existing government programs for the poor and elderly, or have "mandates on individuals or businesses."
Once the Republicans do unveil their plan, it will more than an uphill battle to be passed. Not only do the Democrats have the votes to quash any Republican plan, but a new Gallup poll shows that the American public has little trust in Republicans in general when dealing with health care reform.
Just 37 percent of those polled said they trust Republicans in Congress, compared to 62 percent who do not trust them. While a majority don't trust Democrats in Congress either (48 percent to 52 percent) there is an inherent trust in President Barack Obama on this issue.
Fifty-five percent of those polled say they trust Obama on health care reform, while 45 percent are distrustful of his efforts on this issue.