May 16th, 2009
01:04 PM ET
5 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. Big Ed

    I look forward to seeing this happen.

    May 16, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. mjm

    ‘government’ or ‘public’ option like Medicare and Medicaid are two very good reasons for the government to stay out of the doctor's office.

    I could see government option being expanded to include more people IF they had a successful model to follow, but they don't.

    The State of Illinois has more "government" options then most states and it is a failure. The state is broke because of it. Let's not transfer that failure to the nation.

    Be careful what you ask for.

    May 16, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. floydfix69

    he s done more in ten days then most do in a lifetime, the gop done and they know it were're become america agian and they can stand it bye rush your old and you dumb 4 years from your ideaism will be hogwash its not the 19th century dude

    May 16, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Michael

    It is amazing that the American people tolerate the Republican mantra of saying what is right and what is good for the country and then doing the absolute opposite. They have no shame. These a–holes will sell there soles to the devils for just one more day in power. They should all rot in Hell for eternity.

    May 16, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Susan

    Let's follow up the nice rhetoric with some positive action instead of what we will hear: "We tried to work with the President, but it was too expensive, too political, too Democratic, so we just had to say NO." Honesty would be nice.

    May 16, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Expat American

    Paula: Why are you so concerned about President Obama's American citizenship (that has been proven time and time again), yet seemingly care nothing about the fact that the 'Republican Values' that you undoubtedly voted for in 2004 caused the deaths of a hundreds of thousands of people?

    Once you admit that your own 'GOP Party Values' justifies the killing of innocent women and children because of their Muslim faith; then and only then will you have an argument (futile) in regards to questioning President's citizenship.

    May 16, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. JT

    It's the old say, "I have to see it to believe it."

    May 16, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. I used to like CNN but not anymore!

    Believe it when I see it!

    May 16, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. DJ

    What happened to "I hope he fails"? Are Republicans finally facing reality? Are you serious?
    Who's making money off this, and what group of brown people are likely to die? That's the only way to get Republicans behind something these days, obviously something is up.
    Okay, yeah, that's a little over the top. I'd like to believe that the dedicated public servants within the party are starting to take it back. Maybe, just maybe, the sane people will take back the Republican party.
    And maybe there really is a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

    May 16, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Nate

    In order for our government to survive, maintain balance, and function the way it was designed, there needs to be a viable opposition party. The idiots in the GOP have been doing everything they can to kill that party. What needs to happen is republicans need to start cooperating, coming up with ideas, and stop naysaying everything. Finally we get a credible argument in favor of this from a member of the right, and the left turns into a bunch of naysayers mocking his words? Guys, let's give him a chance! A healthy republican party is good for our government, and cooperation and dialogue will help them become healthy again. I, for one, hope they really do change the script and start working with the dems. Only then will we really get the change we all wanted when we elected Obama.

    May 16, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. DaBird

    Quit giving all the free health care to illegals, and then it would be easier for all of us to get it. Ask any doctor or nurse how many resources go to illegals. They are taking money away from your family.

    May 16, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. LITTLE TOMMY

    They should be working with him cause their current approach surely won't get them anywhere. The party of NO will soon be the party of GONE if they don't change their ways!

    May 16, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Peter E

    The problem isn't Obama and the republicans. The problem is Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi who have been running Congress as if they were monarchs, and THEY don't work with or listen to anyone. Obama has done more to reach out to republicans in his first 100 days than Bush did to democrats during his entire presidency put together. It is the old democrats that need to be thrown out for there to be peace and bipartisanship.

    May 16, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. Sarah K.

    Wow, such anger on this site. I thought you guys were the winners....you are sounding more like the haters.

    May 16, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. D. Tree

    Health care reform must include a public option. We will save trillions of dollars AND provide coverage for all Americans at the same time.

    May 16, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Ruty

    Paula is a backwoods fool who needs to go live in Iraq.

    May 16, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Cynthia

    All those saying all Republicans do is whine...What do you call the last 8 years...Dems did the same thing. Nothing new just a different day. It was 8 years of Bush bashing. If Bush would have passed gas the wrong way, if there is such a thing I am sure the liberals would have complained.

    May 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. zippy

    you dem;s are mean to paula shes right and you libs a scard
    obamma is a crook1

    May 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. Cheri

    The Republicans want to work with Obama on health care...HA HA Ha!! I will believe it when I see it.

    May 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. JP Bless

    You have to surgically replace a Republican's brain before he/she can work honestly with a non-Republican. Pledging support to a Republican means do as we say or else hell breaks loose.

    May 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Ron

    It's about time repubs realize that they really are getting slaughtered by having Dick and Rush speak for the party. Rush is using those chuckleheads to fatten his bank account. He has a $400M contract to string along unhappy idiots. How many of them have been invited to the Limbaugh home for cigars and pain killers??? Stop being so stupid people. You know better.

    OBTW, if the repub party is too small for Colin Powell, it's too small for me too!! As a veteran, I believe the repubs show get down on their knees and beg Gen Powell to become the new party leader. Without him, it's all over........

    Paula, you really should get over the fact that Barack Obama is president. You fought. You lost. In 3 yrs, you can try again. BUT, until then, stop your sillyness.

    May 16, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Honest Abe

    Yea.... And China pledges to work with Tibet on democratic resolutions! Please...

    May 16, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Simmy

    United we stand....Divided we fall/fail......A house divided can not stand......Those that come against US will fall.....IJN

    May 16, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Harry

    Republicans will fights for their corporate masters, like they always do.

    Democrats will fight for their corporate masters, but to a slightly lesser degree, which means their plan will be slightly better for us.

    Great.

    May 16, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. tjaman

    They want to be involved just enough to make it fail.

    Meanwhile, my physical last year cost $200 out-of-pocket for a little bloodwork and an Xray and a 10-minute consult. And in my state it costs $8 just to _fill_ a prescription that the insurance doesn't pay a cent for either. That makes no sense to me at all. Insurance should completely cover an annual physical, and it shouldn't dictate refill prices on meds while not covering a dime of the presciption costs itself.

    The cost structure of healthcare in this nation is completely insane and needs a serious boostafazoo. In that the government is the only player at the table with the oversight to provide it, I've got some hope that they can maybe come up with some solution, because nothing about the current situation is remotely OK, sorry.

    May 16, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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