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Party lines are drawn

Posted Feb 22 2010 4:00pm

Today the White House issued proposals for health care reform that have won kudos from several Democratic lawmakers, a sure sign of how little GOP input is in the plan.

Republicans have agreed to show up at the White House Thursday for a “summit” on health care, but are assuredly doing so with little faith in the outcome.

“It’s disappointing that Democrats in Washington either aren’t listening, or are completely ignoring what Americans across the country have been saying,” - U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“House Republicans welcome any good faith effort to start over on health care reform but the bill President Obama unveiled today is just more of the same government-run insurance, mandates and taxes the American people have overwhelmingly rejected,” – Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind.

The White House, however, insists that the bill is more than just camouflage, but rather represents compromise.

Indeed in its effort to appear bipartisan, the White House included in its health care proposals listed on its Web site a section on Republican initiatives that were included in the legislation passed by Congress and included in the president’s latest plan.

Among them were provisions to allow health insurance premiums to vary based on participation in employer wellness programs, grants to states to evaluate medical liability reform ideas, automatic enrollment by employers in health insurance and ability for employees to opt-out. [1]

Just a few of the other GOP suggestions in the proposal include;

– Recovery of overpayments made to providers and reduced bankruptcy protection for fraudulent health care providers.

– Real-time data review for claims and payments to identify and stop waste, fraud and abuse.

– Stronger sanctions for fraudulent use of Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary IDs.

Public Enemy #1 said Thursday’s discussion brings the nation

“closer than ever to guaranteeing affordable health care to America’s middle class and small businesses, lowering costs and strengthening Medicare for seniors, holding insurance companies accountable, and reducing our deficit.”

It all rings the same cowbell they have been ringing for decades – and yet nothing ever seems to get done, the problems never seem to get fixed, and the big shots seem to continue to get fatter and richer while the working class loses everything in exchange for wonderful public representatives like Nancy Pelosi – who can go on national TV; while the country crumbles and with a straight face talk about how much “closer” we are to fixing problems that are decades old.

[1] Don’t we have everything within this paragraph already? or am I living on some foreign planet?

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