House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel, R-Ky., agree Democrats should drop their current health care legislation and start over. Boehner says that the American people want to scrap this big government takeover and start over. Both leaders and House GOP Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., say they will attend the White House summit called by President Obama for Thursday.
Boehner strongly objects to the Obama health care proposal, but says attending the summit is a matter of common courtesy. "It's an invitation from the President of the United States," Boehner said. "I believe when you get an invitation from the President you have an obligation to go."
In remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday morning, McConnel said that the American people thought the debate on this approach to reform was over, but, here we are being told by the White House we have to consider the same health care bills that caused such a backlash across the country in December.
Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is bothered by the President's proposal release Monday before the bipartisan health care summit. Grassley called the move counterintuitive and inconsistent.
"We're not just talking about adding a few things to their bill," Grassley said. "There's a lot things that are wrong with the bill that increases taxes, increases premiums, doesn't do anything about inflation of health care and institutes a process for rationing health care."
Grassley says a lot of his constituents don't consider that reform and notes this issue of health care is a bigger problem for many of those folks, especially for farmers.
"Most of them have individual policies, and individual policies are where you get the big tax increase," Grassley said. "The Congressional Budget Office makes very clear that the bill that passed the Senate last year increases premiums, particularly individual premiums. That's going to hurt farmers, make it more expensive to have health insurance if you can afford it at all. So you get back to what people expect us to, I think start over."