Boehner: House GOP Won’t Release Health Bill Until Democrats Release Theirs
House Republicans will wait for Democrats to finish their health care reform bill before they release their alternative, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters on Monday.“We are continuing to work on our bill as the Democrats continue to work on theirs, and then as the week goes on we’ll have to see whether there is a Democrat bill,— Boehner said. “There are a whole host of considerations about what our next move will be.—Asked what was holding up the release of the Republican bill, Boehner responded, “Ask the Democrats — they don’t have their bill done either.—Boehner noted that a Republican health care reform plan had been released more than six weeks ago.Republican leaders have been coy as to whether they will release an alternative to the Democratic health care reform bill and have offered different reasons for the delay.Last week, several leaders said they were waiting for scoring from the Congressional Budget Office and continuing to put the finishing touches on it.Others, such as Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.), the chairman of the GOP’s Health Care Solutions Group, said Republicans have not been able to offer their alternatives because Democrats have delayed the Energy and Commerce markup on the bill.“The committees continue to run into all sorts of problems, so we don’t have any committees to offer the bills in,— Blunt said.House Democrats have slammed Republicans for failing to offer an alternative bill in either the Ways and Means Committee or the Education and Labor Committee, which held markups last week.On Friday, the public got a glimpse of a House Republican health care reform bill at a news conference, but Members did not distribute copies of their legislative blueprint to the press.But not all Republicans are waiting for Democrats to make the first move. The conservative Republican Study Committee is expected to release a bill on Thursday emphasizing tax incentives and pooling mechanisms to achieve universal coverage.