Obama Officials Say Health Plan Has Republican Ideas

February 25, 2010

Republicans should find things to like in President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plan because they were taken from Republican bills or have been advocated by Republicans, the president’s top healthcare reform officials said Thursday.

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Health Reform Office director Nancy-Ann DeParle identified the Republican-backed ideas in Obama’s health plan along with the lawmakers who supported them.

Here are some of those ideas:

  • Letting people save on health insurance premiums if they participate in proven employer wellness programs: Representative Mike Castle of Delaware
  • Giving states grants to evaluate medical liability models that can improve patient safety, reduce medical errors and bring down liability premiums: Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming
  • Eliminate caps on benefits: Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
  • State-based, health insurance marketplaces where families will be able to easily compare insurance policies to find the one that’s best for them: Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Richard Burr of North Carolina
  • Ban discrimination based on pre-existing conditions: Coburn and Burr
  • Tax credits to help middle-class families afford health insurance plans: Expanded version of idea backed by Enzi
  • Pooled purchasing options for small businesses: Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine
  • Permit people to buy insurance across state lines: Representatives Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Mark Kirk of Illinois
  • Temporary high-risk insurance pool to protect uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions: Senator John McCain of Arizona and House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio

(Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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