As proof of how they aren’t just sitting on the sidelines and saying “no” to health care reform, GOP lawmakers point to all the amendments they have offered, and how Democratic lawmakers aren’t interested in making the bills more bipartisan. But Dana Milbank of the Washington Post reported that many of the GOP amendments are aimed at playing to the GOP base or some special-interest concern. For example, Sen. Orrin Hatch (in photo), R-Utah, offered an amendment, apparently facetiously, that would have added “transition relief for the excise tax on high-cost insurance plans for any state with a name that begins with the letter ‘U.’” Rep. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, offered an amendment that Milbank said sounded like a GOP parody: It would eliminate fees charged to private health insurance companies and make up the shortfall by reducing benefits to poor people. The amendment was defeated on a party-line vote.
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