By Tom Curry National affairs writer
updated 10/1/2009 11:20:28 AM ET 2009-10-01T15:20:28

Claim: Congressional Republicans have offered no proposals for overhaul of health insurance.

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., charged in a House speech this week that the Republicans’ only health reform plan was, "Don’t get sick... and if you do get sick, die quickly." House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said last week "there is no Republican plan," by which he meant no plan offered by the House Republican Conference and endorsed by House GOP leaders, as they promised earlier this year. Have congressional Republicans opted out of the insurance debate?

Fact or fiction?
Fiction. There are at least two major Republican proposals not yet endorsed by GOP leadership. With Democrats controlling the House and Senate, those proposals won’t be enacted any time soon. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., have introduced a bill that would subsidize low-income people to buy coverage, create high-risk pools for people deemed uninsurable, and expand use of tax-sheltered Health Savings Accounts. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., has introduced a bill that would give a tax deduction for insurance costs for people who purchase coverage in the individual market and give low-income people subsidies to buy coverage. Also, Republicans such as Sen. Charles Grassley, R- Iowa, have successfully offered amendments to the Senate Finance Committee bill, so that legislation will have some Republican content.

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