Klein: Senate Health Care Bill Already Contains What The GOP Wants

04/11/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Habitual readers know that I'm fond of pointing out this article by Igor Volsky, which thoroughly documents the way the substantive concerns of the House GOP Caucus have been addressed in the chamber's health care reform bill. As you can read for yourself, the Republicans got a lot of what they wanted.

I'm thankful to Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, for getting his citizen-wonk on, and doing the same for the health care reform bill passed by the Senate.

Klein identifies "six Republican ideas already in the health-care reform bill." The first four come right from the GOP's "Solutions For America" website.

1. "Let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines."

2. "Allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do."

3. "Give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs."

4. "End junk lawsuits."

Plus, a bonus two that aren't codified in their list of "Solutions" but nevertheless reflect the way the Democrats have attempted to respond to the GOP's concerns: placing a cap on the "tax break for employer-sponsored insurance" (Klein points out that Dems typically oppose this; the idea lives on in principle via the excise tax), and, of course, taking anything that looks like a "public" health care plan off the table. As in: no single payer, no public option.

I don't want to steal Ezra's thunder so, for the nuts-and-bolts details, I encourage readers to click on over and read for themselves. It's worth pointing out, however, that there seems to be this popular idea that those who crafted the bill just excluded the GOP entirely and failed to address their policy concerns. It's not in the least bit true, but it's a myth that the media has deemed fancy enough to perpetuate.

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