Mark Kirk presents alternative plan for health care reform

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk presented Monday a rival plan for national health-care reform in opposition to the Democratic proposals making their way through Congress.

Yet, it was unclear whether it had serious chances of passage or was just a way of presenting him as a self-proclaimed "rational, practical centrist" in his race for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by Roland Burris.

And, his presentation Monday emphasized reservations held by many suburban congressmen.

Republican Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk says he disapproves of House Democrats' health care legislation. He says the bill fails to tackle the high cost of health care. Kirk says the trillion dollar plan would likely impose new taxes on small businesses and force cuts in Medicare.

KIRK: The House bill is a very partisan bill at extraordinary expense, complication. And it's the bi-partisan feeling is on the opposition to this bill, not in favor of it.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk today accused House Democrats of moving too quickly on a costly partisan health care reform plan that he said fails to address doctors’ malpractice costs and could lead to employers dumping workers from company health insurance plans.

Kirk, a five-term congressman from the North Shore, said that a group of “centrist” House Republicans proposed an alternative that would guarantee patient-doctor rights, promote malpractice reform and quick electronic record-keeping and require insurers to create interstate pools to offer more affordable insurance.

There is definitely a way to move forward that lowers the costs of defensive medicine, guarantee your rights with your doctor and make insurance reforms that a number of local insurance monopolies wouldn’t like but would lower the cost of insurance for many Americans.”

— Mark Kirk