Published July 15, 2009
House Democrats' health care reform bill would create a mind-boggling "web of bureaucracy," Republican critics charged Wednesday as they sought to block Democrats from hastily passing a costly and sweeping health package on orders from President Obama.
Stressing his point, House Minority Leader John Boehner unveiled a dizzying flow chart that he said would represent how health care coverage would look under the plan being pushed by House Democrats.
The chart shows the president and Congress at the top, with dozens of agencies and officials responsible for various slices of the health care program underneath.
The suggestion inherent in the chart is that the health care system would grind to a near-halt under the Democrats' plan.
"If anybody thinks that all of this bureaucracy is needed to fix our health care system, I plainly disagree," Boehner said. "What this is going to do is ration care, limit the choices that patients and doctors have and really decrease the quality of our health care system."
Estimates of the House Democrats' plan range from $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion over 10 years, with much of the cost offset by a surtax on the wealthy. As Republicans railed against the package, a Senate committee voted on another version of a health care overhaul, becoming the first congressional panel to do so.
"The proposal amounts to a government takeover of the American economy," Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., said of the House version, pledging that his party would oppose it.
But Democrats, and especially Obama, are set on passing a health care overhaul soon -- whether Republicans are on board or not.
Obama talked about his health care goals Wednesday afternoon, as his allies on Capitol Hill press to pass a bill through both chambers in the coming weeks.