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. Charlie in Maine

    Hey hey Paula,

    That is right Obama is not a citizen. He beat Hillary in the primaries and James Carville didn't mention it because he (Carville) is such a nice guy. After he beat the Clinton machine he took on the GOP and won presumably because the cut thraot bastards who brought us Willy Horton and waterboarding were just too polite to mention that the guy who cleaned their clock wasn't a citizen. We won, you lost . Get over it.

    BTW. It could have been worse. What if McCain had won and the Supreme Court had stepped in and given it to that ferner. Man that would have sucked big time.

    May 16, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Pat Omaha, NE

    WOW!!! Did Rush and Cheney agree to this? They seem to be running the Party these days! LOL!!!

    May 16, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. Zeb in Pennsylvania

    I have yet to see any hard evidence from the Republicants that "govt"-controlled healthcare "could have devastating consequences".

    Typical of the Republicants - full of sound and fury signifying nothing! Gloom and doom wherever possible will ensure less Republicants in Congress and the Senate in 2010. Please help out the country and continue this ridiculous strategy – we need to get the country back on a moral and solid footing; help us ensure that the Republicants stay out of any significant debate for the next fifty years, since they obviously are not interested in real debate.

    May 16, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. HAWK, TEXAS

    Paula, We know that you are really liz cheney. because no one else could be that stupid.

    May 16, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. Gambi

    At last a rational Republican being heard above the big mouth of Rush. LOL
    Thank you for being supportive to our President in regards to health care reform and not being timid about it. This is a critical issue for every American.
    Of course you realize Rush will have you drummed out of the Party.

    May 16, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. sas

    This is the first senseable babble to come out of a Rep in a long time. Finally, one of them has figured out that he better, at least, pretend to get on board b/c this is serious to the people who are demanding relief. Don't fool yourself into thinking that he will have most people's best interest on his agenda, but at least, there is some pretense of it.

    Who cares what N. Pelosi knew what when? Enough of the diversons that don't matter.

    May 16, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. tigerakabj

    GOP, your leaders Uncle Rush and Cousin Cheny are running people out of the party and not one of you has stood up ot them. Not one.

    Even before Obama was sworn in, you guys were calling it the "Obama recession" and yelling up and down the street about how he is going to enact his socialist/communist/marxist agenda to destroy this country. You guys are now putting out ads criticizing his dog and questioning his birth certificate.

    He wanted your help on the stimulus package, and he got a full can of "no," except for 3 smart senators from New England (one of which as exited your party stage right). All we've been hearing and seeing is yelling, obstruction, complaints, and hypocrisy. America doesn't want to hear it anymore, especially after the last 8 years.

    May 16, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Ken

    Paula – Go back to Fox where the other conspiracy paranoids live.

    May 16, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Huntsman 2016

    Guess he got the word about Governor Huntsman! Looks like another member of "El Rushbo's " enemies list. Will the last moderate leaving the GOP, please turn out the lights.

    May 16, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. bob in LA

    I hope they do and I hope both parties lock themselves behind doors with no lobbyist input.

    May 16, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. windrider

    Rush will be crucifying Boustany next for proposing to "collaborate with the enemy." There is NO desire on the part of the GOP to cooperate with Obama on ANYTHING.

    May 16, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. Audrey in VA

    Well, Obama also promised to be partisan and he hasn't delivered. Remember the stimulus package? The dems conducted every meeting behind closed doors. Also, this whole Pelosi/CIA mess would be a great opportunity for the president to make good on another campaign promise of his– transparency. Oh, thats right, he only wants to expose the dirt if its from the Bush admin.

    May 16, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Alex Badme, Albuquerque, NM

    Pelosi is the NO person. The Repubs get bocked on every word. She is the definintion of government failure. Until they remove this incompetent lying loser there will be no chance of them working together. She won't even work with obama.

    May 16, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. BH

    If the president's answer to healthcare is a nation-bankrupting, cradle-to-grave Big Brother system, why should Republicans help him? He's already spent more money in 100 days than any President in memory. "More" is the liberal answer to everything. More money, more government, more laws, despite the fact that none of it helps.

    Sure, everybody in Canada has free healthcare. They also have 2 MRI machines in the whole country. There's more than that in a 5 mile radius from where I sit in the US. You be the judge.

    May 16, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. Dave in Nevada

    Republicans lie, consistently, continuously. I don't believe a word they say as they will say anything to advance an inhumane position.

    May 16, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Alex Badme, Albuquerque, NM

    Until the Dem's stop their vindictive childish we won we rule, the gov has no chance. They have the majority and feel they can dictate. We need a balanced gov. Not a dictorial party.

    May 16, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. John

    Wow–there's some honesty. I guess he's saying all other issues they have stonewalled and been jerks about, like our economy which they destroyed were not "too important to let partisanship or blind ideology get in the way."

    May 16, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Jay

    Paula: His mom and dad were poor, why in the heck would his mother travel to Kenya to give birth? Think that one through, why would a poor American white girl from Hawaii be travelling to Kenya when 8-9 months pregnant?

    P.S. I'm not 100% thrilled with Obama's performance, but he's a lot better than McCain or Bush.

    May 16, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Nancy

    I don't think it is possible for the Republicans to work with the Democrats. They may make a show of it, but working with President Obama hurts them with their right wing which is about the only wing left of the Republican Party.

    Note to Paula-Get a grip and move on.

    May 16, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Carol Myers

    Paula, why don't you check out the conditions needed to be a lawful citizen of the U.S. The main one is if just one of your parents is a citizen of the U.S then you are a citizen. Why do you conservative right wing nut jobs keep posting such garbage. Guess what you are poor losers.

    May 16, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. elliott

    That's a mistake! We MUST resist Obama's Socialist agenda!! Grow some balls GOP!! Moderation is NOT the answer.

    May 16, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. Pragmatic

    Sound good: there are many central points that both parties could build on to rebuild our country.

    Now, I'm just waiting for Rush to "purge" Boustany ... call him a RHINO, traitor, socialist and all the other silly names the far, far right use to replace real thinking.

    As for poor Paula, she's so far to the right that she will soon fall of the edge of the earth I"m sure she believes is flat ... you can call yourself "right" but that does not prevent you from being wrong!

    May 16, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. johnrj08

    Unfortunately, too many Republicans think it's more important that the Obama administration fail than it is for our healthcare system to be reformed. Again, it will boil down to the GOP playing the "socialism" card to attack whatever Obama proposes. The problem, of course, is that you can't have a decent healthcare system for a country of this size unless the government administers it. Otherwise, you will have the same old profiteering that has made healthcare in this country almost impossible to obtain. If we don't have everybody contributing to the same system and government involvement, costs will never go down. Healthcare is as important as MediCare and Social Security, and it's time we all admitted that the private sector has failed to provide it.

    May 16, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. Blake

    Apparently the Swiftboat crew didn't get this bipartisan memo. They're dumping millions into ads against reform BEFORE the issue has even been seriously discussed or been brought to the table with any specifics.

    I've seen two ads already here in Texas that speak out against health care initiatives that don't even exist. It's unfortunate that these ads don't have to abide by truth in advertising laws.

    May 16, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Obama 2012

    i will believe that when i see it. i dont want to bash them as i usually do.. i hope they are serious. i swear these people live in their own world and do not realize how there political bs games are killing our country.

    May 16, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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