May 16th, 2009
01:04 PM ET
9 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.


“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. wilson

    Ahh, Mr. Luntz's work in action. He must really enjoy moments like this.

    May 16, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Jonathan

    You people are amazing. The "birth certificate" issue is still alive, and kicking, in the courts. Why is it a silly argument? Because you say so? I suppose you wouldn't care if he didn't meet the requirements to be the President, as long as he's "on your side"? Lord knows if Bush had the same BC issues there would be lynch mobs.

    As someone who is rarely sick, and believes in wellness and not overmedicating, I hope the liberals out there get exactly what they want: rationed health care, long waits, denied "inefficient" or "costly" procedures, as well as a drastic decline in quality. That's okay though, it will be FREEEEE!!

    May 16, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Terry

    A few thoughts:

    1. This Conservative leader, like all Conservative leaders, does not say what he means, does not plan to do what he says he's going to do, does not say what he really thinks, and does not really think what he says. Their plan is to scuttle this health care initiative. Providing health care for all Americans.

    2. Conservatives under 65 oppose social security and medicare. They say it is a Ponzi scheme. They say that it is inefficient. They object to the payroll tax. They don't like government "messing" with private enterprise. On their 65th birthday, they will all sign up for benefits and will use them to the max.

    3. If a child is sick, a Conservative will give him a pep talk on the free market and urge him to get a good job when he grows up so he can afford private care. A Liberal will take the child to a doctor.

    May 16, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. Paula

    Your Messiah is also hiding his college records which MUST show he entered school as a foreign student. Why else would he be paying his lawyers to fight their release.
    Wake up people – get off the hope dope and do some research. No, I am not an idiot as many below are saying. I am not a sheeple...

    May 16, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Marcos

    Paula, I just read the EXACT (word by word) same post from you in another blog. You wrote it and will copy it in each and every blog that CNN provides today or am I wrong?
    Anyway, stop with the non-issue. Check the laws, Hawaiian laws and Federal Laws, before saying anything else.
    Barack Hussein Obama has NO OBLIGATION to post a copy of his birth certificate just because die-hard right wing nuts like you are demanding it. The certificate he posted last year is legal, represents the truth and is validated by Hawaiian laws. Therefore is a legitimate one. Therefore he is Hawaiian born and AMERICAN.

    May 16, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. debchuck

    Republicans saying they want to work with Obama!!!!!!!!

    I am not a great fan of any politician, but look at the facts here. As long as there are Republicans still breathing in the likes of Mitch McConnell, Rush Limpbaugh, Mike Huckabee (this one is a surprise since he appeared to be different during the campaigns than the rest of the pack that always sniffs after Limpbaugh, Bush and Cheney)... as long as these kinds of people exist, there will be no working together.

    They do not even like themselves, much less anyone else in the world. When a current Republican tells you something - RUN, RUN, Run because the lies and distortions and deceitful traits are coming.

    May 16, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. marcus

    sounds to me like he did NOT check this with rush limbaugh. expect a retraction on monday !

    May 16, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. deb in Glenside

    I hope this is a good sign. After trying to blast BO for this they have now figured out that the majority of citizens are for some changes in the system. Lets hope this is for real.

    May 16, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Zion

    Beautiful. I don't have a problem with the right having their beliefs, by all means that what's makes America....America. When those beliefs are rabid and continuously filled with racial hatred (Limbaugh, Coulter, etc), well it's more than just expressing beliefs, it becomes something ugly and simply not wanted by the American people. I pray that this is true.

    May 16, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. John

    Anyone who would believe that the Republicans have any interest or compassion for thier fellow Americans is a fool. Represenative Boustany represents the medical mafia that has held us all hostage for so many years. He is a liar, the public option, a government ran system the same as Medicare and the VA would allow anyone who wished to sign up for this. If they choose not to they would not be required too. They could keep thier employer provided insurance buy from the private insurance industry who spends millions denying claims made by those unfortunate to have thier so-called health insurance. The good Represenative fails to mention that the public option is supported by a majority of doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers as well as a majority of the American people.

    May 16, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Danny

    Re: "I want to reiterate Republicans’ sincere desire to work with President Obama and Democrats"

    "Sincere" and "Republican congressman/senator" rhymes about as well as "Herbivorous" and "Alligator".

    May 16, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Joe Terrogano

    I was around when "managed care" was supposed to cut costs in health care (1980's). What really happened was that corporations and the health insurance industry took control of the health care industry. That is when denial of services really began. This was not government taking over, but corporations. Despite the hype, you see where costs and services have gone. The health insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the huge hospital corporations have full responsibility for the current outrageous costs that face all Americans. The Republicans have supported the above. Check it out.

    May 16, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. xlntcat

    The roadblock emerges from the "word" work. So far the GOP in house and senate refuses to WORK.. They partied hard for 8 long disasterous years (hookers, stippers, crystal meth) and have refused to acknowledge that the party is over and that little 'Dickie Cheney' is no longer in charge of anything. The concept that once elected one quits campaigning and goes about the difficult job of governing is foreign to the few remaining GOP representatives and frankly given the cognitive deficits that they have exhibited to date, we would be better off if the people who sent them, fired them. Watching a congressional hearing is a scary, scary thing. After the posturing and preening, they demonstrate that they are clueless and should never be allowed to make decisions that affect other people. I am still looking for even one who actually reached mental and emotional adulthood.

    May 16, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. Kytprtyman

    Yes there is common sense measures to cut healthcare costs, THROW OUT THE ILLEGAL ALIENS. They are helping to bankrupt our healthcare system. Post ICE agents in emergency rooms. After treating these illegals, deport them. Do not allow aliens to be able to stay in the US just because they have a baby here. That would decrease the number of births that the taxpayer has to pay for.

    May 16, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Ken, Vail, AZ

    To those of you opposed to "Universal Healthcare", how many times and ways does the President have to tell you that if you like what you have now, you can keep it? And as for the government rationing healthcare, insurance companies are already doing that. The only argument for not totally reforming the health care system is to keep making the insurance companies and Pharmaceuticals wealthier.

    May 16, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. Lori, Houston Texas

    Repubs want to work with Obama now? Did they get Rush's authorization? I'll believe it when I see it. Regarding SS and medicare: When every single working American has to pay SS & medicare taxes on 100% of their income, the funds will be available to benefit all Americans. I promise that, when you take away the current health care coverage Congress has, we will see a bipartisian program magically appear that covers all Americans. Medicare has it's problems with false claims, corrupt doctors, etc... but the fact is that, Americans with that coverage don't have to worry about losing their homes and life savings to one illness. THAT'S why we want single payer insurance. BTW, I lived in the UK and experienced both private and NIH hospitalizations/surguries. The care was just as good as here. The only difference was elective procedures have a waiting list. Knee surgury, hernia surgery, and dental emergencies were successful and fully covered. Not even a co-pay.

    And Paula, I don't have a birth cert either. I got my ID's with a baptismal cert. Does that mean I am not an American because my records are not up to your satisfaction?

    May 16, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Enlightened Voter

    How? By cutting taxes...increasing defense spending... or justing voting NO? They don't care about health reform, they are owned by the insurance companies.

    May 16, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Robert

    It is true that it is in the interest of some to treat us, and not cure us. What I would like to see, is for University's that train medical student's to open offices to treat people with common cold's and regular testing to cut down on health care cost. In return, what ever is contributed to regular people, can be deducted from the cost of their tuition, as the President indicated with "community service".

    May 16, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Texan in Oklahoma

    Translating that bit of gibberish into English from Republican: "We don't have the support or votes to stop this, so we will go along and appear to have hearts. That will fool the poor Republicans into thinking we care."

    May 16, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. amt, CA

    I wish I could believe the party of"no" but i do not see them doing anything Pres Obama wants. they will have to be on board of coarse but if it does not go all their way it will go back to "no" we can't do it that way & on & on. They (repubs) may claim they want reform but it would be so slight that it would not be what the American people expect.

    May 16, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Hopeful Optimist

    I think I smell a rat. Somehow, some way, when the Repubs actually come out and say they are going to work with and cooperate with the Prez on ANYTHING ( healthcare, entitlements, tax reform, I don't care what), then it makes me suspicious. There's something hidden here, there's a Trojan horse here. They are very protective of their sacred cow (privatized healthcare) and have too much to lose if it is in any way compromised.

    So when they say they'll work toward this common goal, then the final product will probably have little significant change. Remember Bush's prescription drug plan? Just remember, the wealthy DO NOT HEALTHCARE REFORM for the sake of affordable healthcare. They have a stake in the profits inherent in the current terrible system. Now the other idiots who are bamboozled into supporting them, you know, the ones that HARRY AND LOUISE are talking to, well they are probably a lost cause anyway.

    May 16, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Dear Mr. Holder, Pelosi blocked impeachment, why?

    A "Discuss Amongst yourselves" question....

    I wonder if Pelosi was Bush Cheney's Ace in the hole?

    Remember when she kept exclaiming "there will be no move for impeachment"

    She blocked impeachment, not for the sake of the Country, but for the sake of her own skin.....? was she in on the torture that will be investigated here soon?

    this after their was more motivation to do this in Congress than there had ever been for Clinton,....and yet He (Clinton) was impeached.

    Brilliant....Ace in the hole...they (BushCheneyPelosi) are all tied together in lying to the Congress and the American People

    May 16, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. WDM

    I will believe it when I see it. The republican party is in the pockets of the health insurance industry. Health insurance companies make billions of dollars and contribute nothing to peoples actual health. Americans pay double what any other developed country pays for health care, and in terms of mortality rates and other indicators of the quality of health care we rate last of the top 19 developed countries. We need to get insurance companies, and their mega-profits out of the health care equation.

    May 16, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. Dean

    Standard GOP rhetoric, they just want to get in the game to interfere from within. They know they'll just get completely shut out if they don't.

    May 16, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. David

    The GOPhers are just blowing smoke. Most of then, especially in the House, fundamentally disagree with how Obama wants to address this situation and, even if they substantially agreed, they can't afford to let him be successful. This is all PR BS, and you will see tons of it in the weeks and months ahead. "We really want to work with him, if he would just stop demanding that socialist, deficit-busting, anti-free-market approach. If we get anything done, it will be almost exclusively (maybe not even "almost") with Democrat votes in the House and with a sprinkling of New England and mid-Atlantic GOP Senators. Stay tuned: the disinformation campaign is just starting.

    May 16, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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