Boehner: Only Republicans Have Offered Workable Health-Care Plan

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Minority Leader John Boehner pushed back Saturday against critics whoaccuse the GOP of attacking President Barack Obama's health-care plan without offering a formal Republican alternative.

"As a matter of fact, only Republicans have offered solutions to lower health-care costs and make it easier to obtain quality, affordable coverage without imposing a massive burden on the American people," Boehner said in the weekly Republican radio and Web address.

"We first released our health-care plan in June, and over the last six months, we have introduced at least eight bills that, taken together, would implement this blueprint," he said.

The GOP released the guiding principles of its health-care agenda in June, but did not release a comprehensive legislative blueprint at that point. Republican congressional leaders have said the party is in the process of crafting a substitute.

On the official GOP Web site, to which Boehner referred, the party pledges to formally offer its own plan during upcoming floor debate on the bill introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The site says the Republican proposal will incorporate all or part of the elements of health-care bills introduced by individual members, and a health-care plan introduced by the Republican Study Committee.

Boehner repeated Saturday the four main elements of the GOP's health care agenda:

-- To let individuals and small businesses look for better insurance deals in other states.

-- To allow them to pool together to receive the kind of insurance deals typically offered to large corporations.

-- To create an environment that gives states greater range to experiment with cost-saving health care reforms.

-- To institute tort reform.

He compared the Democratic version of the health-care plan to Bill and Hillary Clinton's failed 1993 proposal.

"It's clear where the American people stand on this issue," Boehner said. "They're frustrated and fed up.

"We now have a choice: We can come together to implement smart, fiscally responsible reforms to improve Americans' health care or we can recklessly pursue this government takeover that creates far more problems than it solves," he said.

Floor debate on the Democratic bill introduced in the House on Thursday could begin as soon as next week.

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta
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