INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Republicans on Capitol Hill introduced an alternative to the President's healthcare plan Wednesday and an Indiana Congressman played a key role.
Todd Rokita is one of seven co-authors of the American Health Care Reform Act. He appeared in a Capitol Hill news conference where it was rolled out.
The Republican plan calls for expanded tax breaks for consumers who purchase their own health insurance. It also provides government funding for insurance pools that would cover high-risk consumers.
"It's a very straightforward common sense approach," said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana).
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-4th District) says he pushed for elements of the bill that provide consumer protection.
"It kickstarts what we hope to be a cascading or domino effect in price transparency," Rokita said. "We require that Medicare claims data be shared."
The new bill is part of two-pronged approach by Republicans on Capitol Hill. They continue to call for a repeal of the President's Affordable Care Act.
"The law is a trainwreck," said House Speaker John Boehner. "The President has protected American big business. It's time to protect American families from this unworkable law."
The GOP emphasis is to keep government out of the healthcare business while giving consumers more choices.
"As Americans we have no, let me say very little, information," said Rokita, "when it comes to the ability to make good healthcare decisions."
There is no cost estimate for the bill.
And here's a question that begs to be answered: why did it take Republicans so long to come up with an alternative to the President's plan?
One answer is that there's been an inability by members of the GOP to agree on an approach. GOP Members of Congress also deferred to the Romney campaign to come up with a plan in 2012.
One co-author of the new bill called that a "lost opportunity."
Rokita will present the new plan to the Indiana Medical Association on Friday.
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