Democrats less wacky than Alan Grayson have been hitting Republicans for not having a health-care plan of their own. While it's not true that Republicans lack ideas — I have praised the Coburn-Burr/Ryan-Nunes bill as a viable Republican alternative — Republicans do have some vulnerability on this issue, as the House and the Senate Republican leadership have thus far been reluctant to take up any bill as a Republican alternative.
Part of the reason for the reluctance is that they feel that they are doing just fine opposing the Obama approach, and there is certainly a lot to oppose. Another piece is the concern that the Coburn bill's changes to the tax code will open Republicans up to the misleading tax-hike charges with which Senator Obama bludgeoned John McCain in last year's election. Yet Republicans still need to present alternatives if they want to see themselves as a governing party again.
For this reason, my friend Jeff Anderson has come up with a simple five-step plan that Republicans can back that would take significant steps towards improving health care and access. The bill would cover approximately the same number of Americans as the Baucus approach at only a fraction of the outlays. Hill Republicans should take a serious look at this proposal, if only to spare us from any more Grayson rants that there are no Republican alternatives.