GOP lash out at Obama’s health bill, unveil own

By J. Taylor Rushing
Posted: 06/15/09 03:42 PM [ET] 
Congressional Republicans pushed back immediately against the Obama administration’s healthcare promotion on Monday, warning of solid opposition to any plan that includes a government role.  GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), GOP Senate Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) went on the offensive following Obama’s speech in Chicago to the American Medical Association. Kyl and McConnell unveiled a bill to rival the Democratic bill, while Alexander and Pence spoke to reporters. Pence, who said he did not watch Obama’s speech, said House Republicans would try to force amendments to the bill and would vote “no” on the bill otherwise because it improperly pits the government against private insurers. He and Alexander both said such a government role would eventually prompt employers to reduce the plans they offer employees.  “I don’t question the president’s motives or his ability, but he’s consistently said he wants the bill to have a government-run option, and we know from experience that a government-run option is likely to lead to a government-run healthcare system,”   lexander said.  “We’ve also watched what’s happened over the last six months: A Washington takeover of banks. A Washington takeover of insurance companies. A Washington takeover of student loans and car companies. So we’re very wary of Washington takeovers right now, and this looks a lot like one.”


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