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. hozo2006

    Republican affordable healthcare = no negotiation with drug companies making millions ... OBSOLETE Party of No

    May 16, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    GOP ...on the bus off the bus

    each day a new day for the GOP

    some will stay with the dark side sinking ship and others will jump to the light side of the force.

    and good will prevale over the empire of (cheney Darth fader) ,(rush jabba the hud),and the rest of the storm troopers

    May 16, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Cats

    I think the likes of Colin Powell would work for the people for real reform but the GOP has said that he is a RINO. People of good faith have been purged from this group and it is a terrible shame. Apologizing to someone like Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage or Glenn Beck or the many other similar spokesmen and women that have risen to the surface for the right, not renouncing torture, refusing to take responsibility for the economic devastation, and so many, many other actions let those of us anywhere left of fascism know what kind of moral and rational bankruptcy has overtaken the culture of this once mentally balanced party.

    May 16, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Jay T.

    Cut out the middle man. Cut out the spin. We need a single-payer health care system. If you don't know what that means, research it.

    May 16, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. white woman in Hawaii

    The Republicans want to work with Pres. Obama? Yeah, right, I will believe it when I see it. If they think that "working" with Obama means that they will tell him what to do and he does it, then that is not "working" with him. Republicans don't want healthcare reform, if we reform it then their rich buddies in the drug and healthcare industries will have to give up their big salaries, and they won't do this without a fight. The party of NO has not suddendly changed overnight.

    May 16, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz

    The Five Stages of A "Birther" [that's you, Paula at 11:19 a.m.]
    1. Anger
    2. Denial
    3. Raving Lunacy
    4. Frustration
    5. More Anger

    May 16, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Richard Wagner

    I hope it doesn't happen, but it might:

    1) Rush Limbaugh blasts him

    2) He says he's sorry and he didn't mean what he said.

    May 16, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. Tony

    Shocking if it happens, I bet when Pelosi opens her mouth and says something idiotic, the repubs change their mind and gridlock happens again. ......a bunch of crooks most of them are....they work for themselves not the people. What do they care about healthcare ,(with exception of how much the insurance companies are giving them on the side) they have healthcare for life. Good luck Mr. President with that inept bunch!

    May 16, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. bill

    Be very cautious of the claim that the republicans want to work with Obama. Don't believe it for a minute. They're nasty arrogant and mean spirited. Let the party die in their own misery.

    May 16, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Bob the Observer

    I am sincerely glad that there are people from both sides of the aisle who are willing to pull together and put politics in the back seat. Obviously, none of them post to this blog.

    May 16, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Gary

    I would'nt hold my breath. The party of "No" has already proven they are not sincere.

    May 16, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Sylvana in Texas

    Paula,
    Go back to Faux News. You will have plenty of company there. No one here is buying into this. This is a non-issue. You will become the laughing-stock of this forum. Good bye.

    May 16, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Ex-republican

    Oops,
    I was right. This idiot "Paula" is just showing how stupid she/he is.

    May 16, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Bipartisanship

    From the posts I've read it looks as if a lot of Dems don't want the GOP working with them. It's their way or the highway.

    Bipartisanship must come from both sides. This means from Dems also.

    May 16, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. lived9lives

    Translation: "... respecting the value of human life." = we must promote our anti-woman, anti-life agenda of opposing abortion and stem cell research.
    "...at the expense of patients and DOCTORS" = we don't want to loose the income (political campaign contributions and kick backs) from the AMA, the Pharmaceutical industry or the Giant medical insurance corporations.
    Nothing new here – just more pandering to the right wing religious fanatics trying to control our bodies and being fiscally protective of their personal campaign contributors.

    May 16, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Henry

    Paula

    You are like the Japanese soldier who hid on the island in the Pacific not knowing the war was over.

    The war is over, OK?

    Please consider other, more worthwhile, issues to focus on. Like healthcare or feeding the poor, or stopping torture, or being tolerant of gay people, of caring about immigrants and people who don't look like us.

    May 16, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. The Marginalizer

    Which Republican Party? The moderate socially responsible Republican party which puts America first and sees service to our country and President as an honor......OR.......The Rushpublicans, Bush, Cheney, Jindahl, Huckabee, Gingrich and company....those who put Party before Country, with us or against us, and by the way if you're not a right-wing, heterosexual christian you're not welcome crowd.

    May 16, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. An Independent

    I'll believe that when I see it – which I don't expect to. The majority of today's Republicans don't even know what compromise or "working together" means. They think anything short of getting exactly what they want is unacceptable and proof that the Democrats are unwilling to work with them. And if any of them ever do start thinking about working across the aisle and doing what's best for the country, Rush Limbaugh and the other extremists will ex-communicate them from the party.

    At some point, I think enough Republicans will realize that Limbaugh, Rove, Cheney, etc. are marching them toward being irrelevant or even extinct and they'll become more reasonable, but it doesn't seem to be happening yet. Meghan McCain is on the right track, but doesn't seem to have much support among Republicans, so I guess they're still not seeing it.

    May 16, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Obo

    Why the need for Repubs to cooperate with Obama? I thought he already saved us 2 trillion by getting the industry to keep inflation down? I have also heard he's got the ability to diagnose diseases through telepathy.

    May 16, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. John Sullivan MD

    Please, leave the republicans out of health care reform! Dr. Boustany will only commit health care reform malpractice.

    May 16, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Had It

    Put Politicians on Medicare instead of the healthcare we provide them, and put Politicians on Social Security instead of their very lucrative retirement we provide them.

    We'll see VAST Improvements in BOTH Immediately.

    May 16, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. IS IT 2012 YET ??

    Republicans supporting government run health care? I can't imagine that.

    May 16, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. Lynn

    Paula is off her meds again!

    May 16, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. DJ

    Most of the people who are still convinced that Obama is not a citizen were the same people who hid in fear of "black helicopters" during the '90s, spent New Year's 2000 in a bunker, are convinced that 9/11 was pulled off by a band of Israeli agents, and thought nothing of the Bush Administration's warrantless wiretaps program. These people are deathly afraid of this faceless "Them" but will excuse anything by any Republican, no matter how outlandish.

    May 16, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    They will only work with the president if they can find another way to keep big pharma and health insurance comapnies in control. if ther is not another screw to apply to Americans looking for health care reform then there will be no working with the president.
    What's with that imbecile Paula? What did that ridiculous comment have to do with health care reform? Typical for people that would more than likely benefit from real health care reform and most of the other programs that President Obama is putting out there but are not educated enough to understand.

    May 16, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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