GOP to Hammer Pelosi Health Care’ Over Recess
House Republicans may have failed to derail the Democratic health care reform bill Saturday, but that doesn’t mean they are going to let the debate about the plan fade away. In a letter attached to the party’s 13-page district work period briefing packet, Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) encouraged GOP Members to spend the Veterans Day recess talking about how “Speaker Pelosi’s 1,990 page bill— will further ravage the ailing economy and destroy the American health insurance system if it becomes law. “I encourage you to continue reaching out to your constituents and the American people,— he wrote. “We know the impact the Pelosi health care bill will have on taxpayers, small businesses, seniors, women and families,— Pence wrote. “We have a responsibility to speak out and take action.— “The legislative battle over health care reform is not over,— Pence continued. “We must continue to oppose the Pelosi health care bill and stand by the American people in support of Republican offered solutions that meet the needs of families by lowering health care costs.— The Democratic health care reform bill passed the House on a 220-215 vote late Saturday.Talking points included in the packet, which repeatedly refers to the House Democratic health care bill as “Pelosi’s plan— — advise Members to tie the majority’s bill to the economic downturn. The packet also encourages Members to talk to their constituents about the Republican commitment to job creation and to emphasize that the GOP health care alternative would have improved the system without adding to the national debt. “The American people want to know why Congress is focused on the Pelosi plan for a government take over of health care, instead of a plan that will help create jobs,— the packet reads. The Republican alternative health care reform bill failed in a 176-258 vote. The GOP bill would have expanded access to individual health care plans across state lines, provided awards to states for covering the uninsured and expanded the use of health savings accounts.The Congressional Budget Office predicted last week that the GOP plan would leave the percentage of uninsured Americans unchanged over the next decade.Democrats will spend the week away from Washington discussing the economy and health care initiatives with their constituents at meetings and events. “Our Members will be hard at work talking about the issues of deepest concern to their constituents and emphasizing the steps Congress has taken to make the economy start to finally work for middle class Americans,— said Doug Thornell, a spokesman for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.). “We have a strong record to tout, and it contrasts well with the blank slate of accomplishments House Republicans are going to have to cover-up with attacks and distractions,— Thornell said in an e-mail.