THEY’RE NOT ABOVE LYING…. When House Republicans finally unveiled their health care reform proposal this week, one of the glaring problems was that it did not prohibit private insurance companies from discriminating against consumers with pre-existing conditions.

There weren’t even any ambiguities. The Wall Street Journal reported this week, “Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) said Monday that the plan wouldn’t seek to prevent health-insurance companies from denying sick people insurance — a key plank of the Democrats’ legislation.”

So, what did Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) have to say on the House floor last night?

“The Republican alternative makes it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition.”

Seriously? That’s clearly and demonstrably wrong. I can appreciate a good spin on a bad bill as much as the next guy, but “keeps it legal” and “makes it illegal” are not the same.

It’s not even a close call: “[The] GOP alternative plan … does not prohibit health insurance companies from denying coverage to people due to pre-existing medical conditions.”

Congressional Republicans used to support these kinds of restrictions on private insurers, but dropped their commitment when crafting their own plan. Pretending otherwise isn’t helpful. It’s also a reminder about why bipartisan outreach hasn’t gone well — a few too many lawmakers don’t know, or don’t care about, the facts.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.