Republican minority leader's response: Coming soon

A leading Republican Congressman said Sunday that his party would present by the end of the week its own plan for health care reform, one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities.

House Minority leader John Boehner spoke after Obama's top allies on Thursday unveiled sweeping compromise legislation, including a government-backed insurance plan to compete with private firms.

His comments were made during an interview with CNN host John King on Sunday. King asked the Republican minority leader: "Where is the Republican proposal, where you can say to the American people, we'll spend this much over 10 years; it will do this to the deficit; and when we'll be done, x-percent of the American people will have health insurance?"

"By the end of this week, people will be able to look at one proposal" that provides transparent cost figures and clearly states the number of people to be covered, Boehner told CNN.

He said the proposal will clearly delineate that "what the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) says it will cost and ... what the CBO says will end up the percent of Americans who will have health insurance."

Boehner declined to give specific details on the Republican proposal, but said it would not increase taxes, cut existing government programs for the poor and elderly, or have "mandates on individuals or businesses."

He added that the GOP wants to allow insurance to be purchased across state lines, and proposed to "give grants to states that have innovative programs to bring down the costs of health insurance."

House Democrats unveiled their draft text after Democrats in the US Senate have crafted their own version, and if the two chambers approve rival measures they must forge compromise legislation to send to Obama to sign into law, a process that could easily run into 2010.

Democratic House lawmakers have estimated their measure would cost 894 billion over 10 years and expand health insurance to 36 million Americans, helping to extend coverage to 96 percent of the population of the world's richest nation.

This video is from CNN, broadcast Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009.

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With AFP.