Republicans Have Drafted a Health Bill, and It Sucks

The bill is so outlandishly aristocratic, it might just be a gift for Dems.

FALLING SHORT OF LOW EXPECTATIONS.... The goading and taunts appear to have been effective: House Republicans will have a health care reform bill. It's been sent to the Congressional Budget Office for scoring, and will, if all goes according to plan, be ready to go 72 hours before a possible floor vote on the Democratic proposal.

So, what's in it? We won't know for sure until it's formally unveiled, but House GOP leaders started offering some details yesterday. At this point, their proposal may be even worse than expected.

Republicans are preparing to unveil their own health bill in the next few days. Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) said Monday that the plan wouldn't seek to prevent health-insurance companies from denying sick people insurance -- a key plank of the Democrats' legislation.

It seemed for a while that there was one thing everyone could agree on -- private insurers shouldn't be able to discriminate against consumers based on pre-existing conditions. But barring any changes to the Republican plan, GOP lawmakers aren't even prepared to inconvenience private insurance companies with popular, common sense provision.

A Wall Street Journal report added yesterday, "Republicans also wouldn't prevent insurers from ending policies once an individual becomes seriously ill."

There would also be no individual mandate, no employer mandate, no exchange, and no tax credits or subsidies to help purchase coverage.

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."
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