White House spokesmen Robert Gibbs and Dan Pfeiffer started out the week of the bipartisan health care summit by accusing Republicans, once again, of having no plan:
The President believes strongly that Thursday’s bipartisan meeting on health insurance reform will be most productive if both sides come to the table with a unified plan to start discussion – and if the public has the opportunity to inspect those proposals up close before the meeting happens.
That’s why yesterday the White House posted online the President’s proposal for bridging the differences between the Senate- and House-passed health insurance reform bills...
As we said today, we’ll be happy to post the Republican plan on our website once they indicate to us which one we should post. We hope they won’t pass up this opportunity to make their case to the American people.
Politico was first to the punch, noting that the White House's own website already links to the allegedly non-existent GOP plan, online:
Turns out the House Republicans' plan has been online since October and already has its own link on the White House website. The White House encourages readers to "read more about House and Senate ideas from both parties on their websites." The link sends readers to a House GOP website that includes a one-page summary sheet and the legislative text of their proposals.
I suppose the White House would argue that it is searching for a more specific idea of what Republicans will put forward, but then they'd have to contend with this riddle:
What does the "Party of No's" plan have that the president's doesn't? A CBO score.
Take it away, Douglas Elmendorf:
This morning the Obama Administration released a description of its health care proposal, and CBO has already received several requests to provide a cost estimate for that proposal...
Moreover, preparing a cost estimate requires very detailed specifications of numerous provisions, and the materials that were released this morning do not provide sufficient detail on all of the provisions. Therefore, CBO cannot provide a cost estimate for the proposal without additional detail.