Reuters reported on November 3rd that Republicans in the United States House of Representatives are planning to offer their own healthcare reform bill, as an alternative to the plan already introduced by the Democrats. According to the House Republican leader in a statement made last Sunday, the Republican plan would neither raise taxes nor require either people or businesses to purchase health insurance.
Last week, House Democrats introduced their bill – a 1,900-page document that includes taxes on the wealthy designed to help fund a public insurance option run by the government. It is this public option that is drawing most of the heat in the entire healthcare reform debate.
House minority leader John Boehner (R – Ohio) told CNN reporters that the Republican party hoped to introduce a single bill that used a “step-by-step” approach, and included the ability to buy health insurance across state lines, allowing people to form groups in order to save money, and eliminating “junk lawsuits.” In addition, the bill is to include several healthcare ideas that have been previously introduced as separate items.
What the Republican plan will NOT do is cover all of the roughly 46 million people in the United States who currently have no health insurance at all, though, according to Boehner, “We will cover millions more.”
The Democrats’ plan is expected to provide coverage for 36 million of those currently uninsured. As well, all but the smallest companies must cover their employees, and people will be required to have some kind of coverage. At the same time, it bars insurers from basing premiums on a patient’s medical history, or excluding people because of pre-existing conditions.