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GOP Congressman: ‘We’re Not Trying to Get Universal Coverage’

Perhaps the strangest element of Capitol Hill’s months-long health reform debate has been that Democrats — proposing to cover tens of millions of uninsured Americans while banning the worst abuses of the insurance industry — have been branded a public enemy, while Republicans — hell bent on killing the reforms — have somehow been cast as populist heroes.

Continuing that theme, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), senior Republican on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, told reporters today that GOP leaders have no interest in getting health coverage for everyone, Merrill Goozner reports.

His idea of reform? Allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines; limiting medical malpractice awards (“enough to pay for reform,” he said); creating high-deductible, high-co-pay plans for the uninsured (“we’re not trying to get to universal coverage”); and setting up special pools to make insurance more affordable for small business. If that sounds familiar, it should because it is essentially the same plan that was offered by Sen. John McCain and rejected by voters just 14 months ago.

Surprising? Not in a town where tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are also celebrated as a victory for the middle class.

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