Boehner on House health bill: "1,990 pages of bureaucracy"

Republicans respond to the House Democrats' healthcare reform bill

By Alex Koppelman

Published October 29, 2009 9:50PM (EDT)

Republicans clearly think they have a pretty good strategy on their hands when it comes to opposing the Democrats' healthcare reform bills: Talk about how long the legislation is. That's what they did when Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., released a draft of the bill he'd put together, which was 1,502 pages long, and that's what they're doing now with the House Democrats' version, which is almost 2,000 pages.

As you can see in the video below, even House Minority Leader John Boehner's getting in on the act, standing behind a pile of paper and saying, "Tell me how we're giong to fix our healthcare system with 1,990 pages of bureaucracy. This is what the American people have been saying over the last few months." Matt Drudge, of course, is all over this as well, proclaiming the bill "Pelosi's biggest one yet!"

Drudge is also helping lead the charge on the second part of the GOP's messaging about this. They're hoping to convince voters that Democrats are keeping the public from finding out what's really in the bill, and in order to do that on Thursday they focused on the event Pelosi and her fellow senior House Democrats held to announce the bill, decrying their decision to bar members of the public who weren't invited.

Of course, the Democrats had good reason to do so -- some protests had been planned in advance, though only a handful of people showed up. Besides, as the Washington Times noted near the end of a story that otherwise tried to advance the Republicans' complaints, the GOP 's own healthcare event on Thursday was even more closed off than the Democrats' was.

More than that, though, it's also pretty clear that whether the general public is allowed to watch a launch event like this one, which is generally not the best source of information and was being televised anyway has nothing to do with how transparently the reform process is being handled. But facts and logic often have little to do with politics, so we'll still have to see how this approach plays in Peoria.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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Healthcare Reform John Boehner R-ohio Republican Party