Sen. Gregg: GOP Has Ideas For Senate Health Bill

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The ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee said Tuesday that parts of the health care overhaul bill are likely to be popular with the public, but the measure could hurt many Americans.

"There are some parts that they should like, which would have been in a bipartisan bill," Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) told NPR's Linda Wertheimer. "But what they're not going to like, I don't think, is this massive expansion of the size of government."

Gregg said the bill that President Obama will sign into law Tuesday puts pressure on small businesses, on people who have health care through their employers, and on Medicare recipients.

"This bill moves us significantly down the road toward a European style of government," he said.

Gregg rejected claims that the GOP gave up its ability to influence policy by uniting against the health care bill, which the party criticized heavily.

"We weren't allowed to be part of the process," he said.

Once Obama signs into law the bill that the House passed Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will introduce a package of changes under special budget rules called reconciliation. Gregg said the reconciliation bill has "some very significant policy issues in it and should be adjusted."

He said the GOP will offer "constructive amendments" on the measure.

"We'll offer amendments to try to improve on things like eliminating the individual mandate, or addressing the issue of tax policy, or getting proposals which cause us to look at delivery of quality and value rather than quantity and repetition," Gregg said.



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