House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) doesn't much like the fact that Democrats continue to piece together an agreement on healthcare reform in advance of a bipartisan summit next week — and mocks their inability to do so successfully.
Keying off reports that President Barack Obama plans to present a unified Democratic healthcare plan prior to the Feb. 25 summit and reports that congressional Democrats aren't quite sure what will be in it, Boehner's office issued a statement to reporters Thursday once again calling on the White House and congressional Democrats to start from scratch on healthcare reform.
"We’re one week away from the ‘bipartisan’ White House health care summit, and Washington Democrats are scrambling to salvage their massive — and quite partisan — government takeover of health care," the statement says. "But for all that, Democrats may not even have a backroom deal ready by the summit despite promises to post it online in advance.
"We don’t need a six-hour infomercial for the latest Democratic backroom deal. We need to start over on real health care reforms to lower costs. That’s what the American people want, and what they deserve."
After Obama announced his plan for the summit, GOP leaders seemed to endorse the idea but have since questioned the White House's motives amid indications that House and Senate Democrats continue to work with the White House on merging the bills that passed both chambers and that the White House is working on its own set of proposals based on that legislation. So far, the only Republican to publicly announce that he'll show up for the summit has been Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee ranking member Mike Enzi (Wyo.).