The search for agreement on health care may be short lived.
The flashpoint is a proposal that would give Americans the option of buying medical coverage through a government plan.and many Democrats have endorsed it, as one part of a broader health overhaul. On Saturday, Republicans laid down a challenge.
By Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Associated Press Writer
“I’m concerned that if the government steps in, it will eventually push out the Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said in the Republican weekly radio address.plans millions of Americans enjoy today,”
Blunt, who will play a leading role in the debate, warned: “This could cause your employer to simply stop offering coverage, hoping the government will pick up the slack.”
The proposal he referred to would, for the first time, offer government-sponsored coverage to middle-class families, as an alternative to private health plans. By some estimates, it could reduce premiums by 20 percent or more — making it much more affordable to cover the estimated 48 million people who don’t have.
It could also be a deal breaker for broad, bipartisan agreement on health care.
Insurers fear competition from a government plan could drive them out of business, and Republicans worry it would lead to a government takeover of health care. Liberals, meanwhile, are equally adamant that Americans deserve the choice of government-sponsored health care.
President Barack Obama greets lawmakers at the White House Forum on Health Reform in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 5, 2009.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)