With less than 24 hours to go before the Republicans take over in the House and begin their quest to repeal and replace the Democrats' landmark health care reform law, Cuellar -- a new member of the House minority leadership -- told reporters today that whatever reforms the Republicans want to put in place as part of the "replace" portion of their agenda, the Democrats have already done it. [...]
At the House Democratic majority leadership's final press conference before Speaker Boehner and company are sworn in tomorrow, Cuellar read through the succinct health care "replace" bill House Republicans are planning to introduce this week. The bill is essentially a list of instructions for newly Republican-run committees to take up health care reform once (in theory) the Democratic law is repealed.
For each directive on the bill -- "preserve a patient's ability to keep his or her health plan if he or she likes it" is one example -- Cuellar had a simple response: we already did that.
Rough transcript of Cuellar's remarks.
CEULLAR: I have a copy of the resolution that they are… they will be looking at to instruct their committees to replace some of the health care. […] One of the things they’re instructing their committees is to lower health care premiums through increased competition and choice. We do that already.
Preserve the patient’s ability to keep his or her health plan if he or she likes it. We have that already in the health care bill. Provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage. We have that already.
Increase the number of insured Americans. We have that already. Protect doctor patient’s relationships. We have that already. Provide states credit flexibility to administer Medicaid programs. We have that already in law.
Expand incentives to encourage personal responsibility to have coverage. We have that. Prohibit taxpayers funding of abortions and provide for health care. We have that already.
Eliminate duplicate of government programs and wasteful spending, we surely have that already because we were working on that. Do not accelerate the insolvency of entitlements and tax burdens of Americans. We just passed a tax reduction bill itself. So again this is something that we have already but I guess this is an exercise we’ll be doing soon.
So in other words no matter how many ideas Republicans should have liked that are already incorporated into this bill, they're going to ignore that and pretend they care about governing when all they're doing is playing politics with meaningless votes on repealing a law they should have loved before the party lost their damned minds.