Senate GOP wants do-over on healthcare bill

Senate Republicans want a do-over when it comes to healthcare reform legislation.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) argued Tuesday that the healthcare bill crafted by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee was so fatally flawed such that it should be tossed by Senate leaders to start crafting a new bill from scratch.

"We've now had a week to consider to consider the Kennedy bill in the Health and Education Committee," Alexander, the chairman of the Senate GOP Conference, said after Republicans' weekly luncheon. "And it is so flawed that it can't be fixed, and we need to start over."

Alexander said that Republicans wanted a healthcare bill by the end of the year, echoing Democrats' talking points on the legislation -- albeit with a different legislative outcome in mind.

"That's what happens when you have a partisan bill," Alexander added. "I mean, we know how to have a bipartisan bill on health care or any other area, and that's a group of us sit down together, share ideas and put something together. That's not what happened here."

The Tennessee lawmaker also disputed a New York Times poll that said Americans strongly desired a public (or "government-run") option on the final healthcare package, saying that the questions were asked in a "one-sided" way.