May 16th, 2009
01:04 PM ET
6 years ago

GOP pledges to work with Obama on key issue

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., R-Louisiana, said in the Republican weekly address that it is his party's desire to work with President Obama and congressional Democrats on reforming the country's health care system.

"Let me be clear, Republicans want to work with President Obama and other Democrats to ensure that every American has access to affordable, high-quality health coverage," he said. "Despite our differences, we are convinced there are areas of common-sense agreement on health care reform among Republicans and Democrats. This issue is just too important to let partisanship or blind ideology get in the way. Let’s all work together to do the right thing for the American people."

Boustany, a doctor and member of the House Republican Health Care Solutions Group, said the GOP is "convinced" that there are some areas offering potential for common ground on tackling rising health care costs.

Transcript:

“Hello, I’m Charles Boustany, a doctor and member of the House Republican Health Care Solutions Group. We all know that in this troubled economy, American families are increasingly worried about their health care. In my home of Louisiana, I hear constantly from families and small businesses about rising costs and fears of losing coverage and as a physician I saw this first hand. Let me be clear, Republicans want to work with President Obama and other Democrats to ensure that every American has access to affordable, high-quality health coverage.

“Despite our differences on some important health care-related issues, we are convinced there are areas offering potential for common ground on health care reform among the two parties.

“We believe we must make quality health care coverage affordable and accessible for every American, regardless of pre-existing health conditions. President Obama has called for a plan that ‘puts us on a clear path to cover all Americans,’ and said ‘no American should be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions.’ Republicans agree.

“We believe health care reform must let Americans who like their health care coverage keep it, and give all Americans the freedom to choose the health care plan that best meets their families’ needs. The President has said Americans ‘should have the option of keeping their employer-based health plan,’ and said reform ‘should provide Americans a choice of health plans and physicians.’ Republicans agree.

“We believe health care reform must improve Americans’ lives through effective prevention, wellness, and disease management programs, while developing new treatments and cures for life-threatening diseases, and respecting the value of human life. The President has said health care reform must address ‘cost drivers’ in our system such as ‘obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and smoking.’ Republicans agree.

“We believe it is possible – and necessary – to achieve these objectives through common-sense reforms without raising taxes, rationing care, eliminating employer-sponsored health benefits for working families, empowering government bureaucrats at the expense of patients and doctors, or adding even more to our ever-growing national debt.

“At the same time, Republicans are concerned about news reports indicating that some Democrats favor a policy called a ‘government’ or ‘public’ option. We need to be clear about what this means. From my former practice, I know allowing the government to replace the health coverage that more than 100 million Americans currently have through their jobs could have devastating consequences. A government takeover of health care will put bureaucrats in charge of health care decisions that should be made by families and doctors. It will limit treatment options and lead to rationed care. And to pay for government health care, your taxes will be raised. That is something we cannot support, and frankly, it would clearly violate some of the principles the President himself has endorsed.

“That having been said, I want to reiterate Republicans’ sincere desire to work with President Obama and Democrats to find common ground on the issue of health care reform. Despite our differences, we are convinced there are areas of common-sense agreement on health care reform among Republicans and Democrats. This issue is just too important to let partisanship or blind ideology get in the way. Let’s all work together to do the right thing for the American people.

“Thank you for listening.”


Filed under: GOP
soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. Ruty

    The republicans have proven to be childish and infantile babies who whine to get their way. I don't think they will work with Obama just for spite.

    May 16, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. AP in Illinois

    This guy obviously didn't check with Rush first...

    May 16, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. HEIDI

    Right, the proof is in the pudding!!

    May 16, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. Paula

    Obama is paying lawyers to hide his birth certificate. We know that fact because his lawyers answers to suits all over the country are public record. There’s nothing crazier than a President hiding his birth certificate. People need to know that fact.".

    May 16, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. alvino

    Anything that gets done to ensure health care for all will be without help from the party of "NO!" They will not turn their backs on the drug companies, insurance companies, and M.D.s who contribute so much to the GOP.

    May 16, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Michael MN

    I wonder if there goal is to help the people or to help the industry profits – – – – Me think it is the later

    May 16, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. alvino

    The Swift Boaters will put an end to any compromise.

    May 16, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. tommy perkins

    Obama is paying lawyers to hide his birth certificate. We know that fact because his lawyers answers to suits all over the country are public record. There’s nothing crazier than a President hiding his birth certificate. People need to know that fact.".

    Are you serious or are you just trying to stirr things up. Because if you realy belive that. WoW

    May 16, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Seattle Sue

    GOP pledges to work with Obama. When hell freezes over- when pigs fly and so on. No way will the GOP work with Obama, it's just not in their nature.

    May 16, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Independent

    Why don't they fix medicaid and social security first, walk before you run you incompetent political hacks.

    May 16, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Michael

    I hope that this is a turn for the better. I think Republicans should realize that they can gain true power by not alienating themselves. I am not really sure what the poster by the name Paula is talking about.

    May 16, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. RJW

    Paula:

    Stop being an idiot. That argument died LONG ago. People have seen his actual birth certificate and the State of Hawaii verified it is authentic. Whether you see it or not you are still not going to believe it. You are as bad as the core group of Gore lunatics in 2000 that wouldn't let it go. Move on.

    May 16, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. ap

    Republicans are all talk and no action. And TO PAULA, are you for real? You can't seriously believe that nonsense. Why on earth would the President need to hide his birth certificate???

    May 16, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. Curtis in WI

    They have been saying they want to work with the president since he was elected, but have not made even the pretense of trying to, yet. Quite the opposite, in fact. They have made a great show of going out of their way to not even listen to him.

    So, I'll believe it when I see it.

    Pssssssst! "Working with the President" doesn't mean you tell him what to do and he is supposed to do it without question.

    May 16, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Joe Chang

    Healthcare Reform. I will believe it when I see it. I hope that the President sees that we are a nation that treats symptoms. We do not strive to prevent disease. If you want to lower costs, then the whole healthcare model will need to be changed to a blend of complementary and alternative medicine (yoga, meditation, acupuncture) with western protocols.

    One acupuncture needle costs 10 cents. There is your cost savings. Stop the BS with insurance and coverage for all. Just get acupuncture into the healthcare system with access to these modalities to our low- come families and there is the cost savings.

    Thi is not rocket science. Just look at all of the research on acupuncture currently being funded by the National Institutes of Health. Stop the BS and the nonsense and all of the politics. And Just Do It.

    May 16, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Super MOD

    Why must CNN remove logical comments to the health care debates.

    We all pay 7.65% of our income into Medicare. Thus, a person making $20000 a year pays in around $1530 a year and a person making $60000 a year pay in around $4590 a year. Medicare also takes payments from a work today to pay the benefits of a retired worker. If you are wondering, this is the same definition of a ponzi scheme. Now, if the person making $60000 was forced to pay $1 for bubble gum and the person making $20000 only has to pay 25 cents for the same piece of bubble gum at a convenience store, the owner would be charged with discrimination or price gouging.

    I also do not like the idea that I am going to forced to pay into a system that I cannot drop. What if I choose to drop health care coverage? I have this option today. Do you really think the government is going to let me discontinue Medicare or Universal health care payments because I cannot afford them?

    We need reform, but it should not come in the form of a government run system.

    May 16, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. concerned citizen

    Paula, you're an idiot! The facts are that President Obama is a U.S. citizen. This has been verified a thousand ways to Sunday! If you don't like the President and have a valid reason–such as the issues–that state them. But, this ridiculous type of discussion is sooo silly!

    May 16, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Dexter Skagway

    "Republicans want to work with President Obama and other Democrats." Right. If you believe that, then he has a nice bridge in Brooklyn to sell you too.

    May 16, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. anderson n carolina

    That will be the day! Oh and Paula you don't even have the "origional" copy of your own birth certificate....that's a fact! It's going to be a long 8 years for you isn't it!

    May 16, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  20. Greg

    Enlightened self-interest, me thinks!

    May 16, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. suzi

    I'll believe it when I see it. they have been totally uncooperative every step of the way on everything. Ignoring the fact of their complicity in creating this mess we're in. I don't trust them as far as I can throw them.
    and Obama needs to stop turing this administration into a repug administration.
    He was not elected as a repug lite.
    we wanted change , big change.

    May 16, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Fabian

    I agree with AP in Illinois. Rush L. will not be pleased with this kind of statement given the fact he does not want president Obama to succeed. It will be interesting to hear what the big man on the radio will say about this on Monday. Wait for an apology in one way or another..

    May 16, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. Rumsfeld

    Paula....move on, the birth certificate issue is rubbish and you seem ignorant.
    GOP words and actions are miles apart. We shall see.

    May 16, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. jim

    i hope this is true.

    but I'll believe it when I see it.

    May 16, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. Sarah

    What a pleassnt change of pace from the Republicans. A call for bipartisanship and a solutions-oriented approach to a serious public policy issue. Let's hope this sticks!

    ... and by the wayt, just because Paula keeps posting her stupid lie about the president under every story doesn't make her comment any less ridiculous or any less untrue. Idiot!

    May 16, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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