Just a few days before the White House-initiated bipartisan healthcare summit is to take place, President Obama released a new reform proposal on Monday that builds on legislation that was created by the Senate late last year. However, the administration’s latest attempt at an overhaul of the healthcare system has drawn ire from many Republicans who see it as another example of the Democrats’ refusal to compromise.
Obama’s new plan is, in essence, a combination of the House and Senate bills that were created by Democrats in 2009.
The proposal still gives the federal government the power to regulate the health insurance industry by blocking or limiting substantial premium increases for consumers. It will also dramatically scale back the Senate proposal for a tax on high-cost insurance plans and will utilize a Medicare payroll tax increase to plug the revenue gap, according to The Associated Press.
In evaluating the new plan, GOP leaders have said that the proposed legislation and the bipartisan summit on Thursday are simply veiled efforts by Democrats to push through their own agenda.
"This week’s summit clearly has all the makings of a Democratic infomercial for continuing on a partisan course that relies on more backroom deals and parliamentary tricks to circumvent the will of the American people and jam through a massive government takeover of healthcare," said House Minority Leader John Boehner.
White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said the proposal is simply an "opening bid" going into Thursday’s summit.