White House presses GOP to submit single health plan for summit

The White House sought Tuesday morning to force Republicans to settle on a single health reform plan to bring to Thursday's bipartisan healthcare summit.

The White House is asking House and Senate Republicans to submit a single healthcare plan as their alternative to President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats' plans.

"What you can’t do just yet is read about the Republicans’ consensus plan – because so far they haven’t announced what proposal they’ll be bringing to the table," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote in a blog post Tuesday morning.

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had first asked Monday for Republican lawmakers to submit their plan, to which House Republicans responded that they'd had their own alternative bill posted to their website for months.

That single House proposal came after House Democratic leaders forced GOP leaders' hand to submit a single bill. Senate Republicans never crafted their own consensus bill, relying instead on a series of piecemeal bills and amendments submitted by different senators.

Pfeiffer needled the GOP for the disparate bills and approaches, saying it is unclear which of those Republican proposals the GOP would submit to the White House ahead of the summit.

"To be sure, there are many Republicans who share the President’s conviction that we need to act on reform, and there are several pieces of Republican health care legislation out there," Pfeiffer wrote. "Previously we were told this was the House Republican bill. Is it still?"

"We look forward to hearing whether this the proposal they'll bring," he added. "As of right now, the American people still don’t know which one Congressional Republicans support and which one they want to present to the public on Thursday."

House Republicans ridiculed the proposal as political posturing.

"Bear in mind, at this point, the White House’s 'plan' consists of an 11-page outline, which has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office or posted online as legislative text," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). "So they want to reorganize one-sixth of the United States’ economy with a document shorter than a comic book, and they’re complaining that they can’t find our plan on their own website? C’mon."