The Republican Minority Leader in the House was pushed on Sunday to explain just why the party had not introduced a counter-proposal to Democrat-led efforts to overhaul the health care system.
Rep. John Boehner's (R-Ohio) reply was to direct viewers to the GOP's House website, where they could "see our eight or nine ideas about how to make our current health care system better."
In a contentious interview with CNN's "State of the Union," Boehner insisted that the Republican Party would produce an actual piece of legislation that would be scored by the Congressional Budget Office.
"What I am hopeful for is to take these eight or nine ideas and put them together in a bill that is being scored right now by the CBO and presented on the House floor during this debate," he said.
But, when pressed, Boehner largely danced around the details. It has been more than 135 days since the GOP leadership in the House promised to produce an alternative health care bill for the American people to debate.
Boehner did offer some hints about what the bill would resemble. For starters, it would touch on the major points of Republican health care reform orthodoxy.
"We are trying to make the current system work better," he said. "We take a step-by-step approach by allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, by allowing small business and other groups of individuals to group together for the purpose of buying health insurance at lower costs like big business and unions can... We need to do something about junk lawsuits."
Perhaps more telling, a GOP health care reform effort, he said, would be defined by incrementalism. "We do not attempt to cover 46 million more Americans," he said. "We will cover millions more Americans but we won't attempt to do this. This is not affordable... what this is going to do is bankrupt America."
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