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No Solutions from Head of GOP “Solutions Group”

Representative Roy Blunt (R-MO) explained yesterday that he has no intention of writing up an alternative health care bill, the better to be able to pretend that the right-wing has some kind of cost free magical pixie dust solution to America’s health care problems:

Republicans who had promised last month to offer a healthcare reform alternative are now suggesting no such bill will be introduced.

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said, “Our bill is never going to get to the floor, so why confuse the focus? We clearly have principles; we could have language, but why start diverting attention from this really bad piece of work they’ve got to whatever we’re offering right now?”

Greg Sargent notes that Blunt is the head of the GOP “Health Care Solutions Group”.

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Offering no bill is fine in my view, but it emphasizes that the alternative conservative solution for the real world is perpetuation of the status quo. And that’s something Steven Pearlstein had a good column about yesterday:

Among the range of options for health-care reform, there’s one that is sure to raise your taxes, increase your out-of-pocket medical expenses, swell the federal deficit, leave more Americans without insurance and guarantee that wages will remain stagnant.

That’s the option of doing nothing, letting things continue to drift as they have for the past two decades as we continue to search in vain for the perfect plan that would let everyone have everything they want and preserve everything they already have while getting someone else to pay for it.

And these are the right questions to ask. Not how does a bill look compared to an abstract alternative, but how does a bill look in comparison to continuing with business as usual.