Expect to hear about the GOP plan again

EXPECT TO HEAR ABOUT THE GOP PLAN AGAIN…. Back in April, House Republicans unveiled a alternative budget proposal, principally authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). It was comically awful, and when it came time to vote, 38 House Republicans — about a fifth of the GOP caucus — sided with Democrats is rejecting it. There was no great mystery — these 38 Republicans considered their own party’s budget plan so extreme, they didn’t want to have to defend it when running for re-election.

It was curious, then, to see Republicans back their party’s health care plan in such large numbers.

The House defeated a GOP alternative healthcare plan tonight, 258-176.

Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) was the only Republican to vote against the GOP bill. A united Democratic caucus voted no. (One Democrat did not vote.)

Here’s the roll call on the vote on the GOP plan. There are 177 House Republicans, and 176 of them voted for it.

For all the talk about vulnerable Democrats having to defend their support for reform, let’s not overlook the fact that GOP incumbents are likely to hear more about their vote supporting their version of reform again. After all, the Republican plan was pretty ridiculous — the GOP alternative did nothing for the uninsured, nothing for those with pre-existing conditions, and nothing for those worried about losing coverage when it’s needed most. It was an entirely partisan plan, written in secret, which ignored the majority’s ideas altogether. The GOP proposal sought to create a system that “works better for people who don’t need health care services, and much worse for people who actually are sick or who become sick in the future. It’s basically a health un-insurance policy.”

And as we learned yesterday, the plan included provisions that “mirror the suggestions put forth by the lobbying entity of the private insurance industry way back in December 2008.”

Expect this vote to come up quite a bit next year.