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Why Republicans Say They Want To Start Over On Health Care

In 1994, when they were killing Bill Clinton's health care plan, Republicans promised over and over they just wanted to do it right. Start fresh and pass a real health care plan without all the bad socialist stuff:

"We don't have to do it all this year," [Bob Dole] said in the closing address to committee members. "We don't have to do any of it this year. You know, Congress meets every year.

"I see a lot of bright spots to (acting) next year." ...

"If they come up with something I can live with, I would support it, " said California state party Chairman Tirso del Junco, a surgeon. "But I do not believe that the plans presently on the table would be approved by the American people. To rush this through is bad news."

Of course, the Clinton plan died, and Republicans proceeded to do absolutely squat for the next fifteen years.

This year, when they're doing everything possible to kill President Obama's health care plan, Republicans again insist they just want to start over fresh, have a chance to enact a real bipartisan plan. Why do they say that? This is why:

I don't put much stock in the public's ability to really define "comprehensive" reform. But it's pretty clear that the Republican pretense to really want to do reform, only just not this reform and not right now, is rooted in an understanding that their real position does not reflect public sentiment. There's been an enormous amount of bluster about popular repudiation of the Democratic health care plan. If Republicans truly thought the public shared their beliefs, they wouldn't be talking constantly about starting over and doing it right in a bipartisan fashion.