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. Susan

    Obama took single payor off the table this week, and will no doubt take the public option off, as well. Why WOULDN'T the GOP be willing to "work" with Obama on "reform?" Obama's "reform," is just a continuation of control of the health care system by the insurers and big pharma.

    Big disappointment, bec. a LOT of people voted for Obama to get real health care reform. Instead we get a voluntary promise from insurers to reduce health care costs by two trillion dollars, which the industry reneges on 3 days after the splashy announcement by Obama. This reminds me of the "voluntary" program mortage companies agreed to, to write down mortages. Makes me wonder if Obama is just gullible or clearly in the tank to corporate interests.

    May 16, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Sanford

    Hey Paula; last year called, they want their conversation back.

    As for the GOP, talk is cheap. Based on their track record over the last 125 days, I don't know why they think we'd take them at their word. Let's see some real work with President Obama, then we'll be impressed.

    May 16, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. BC

    It will fail not because it is democrat or republican but because it is the government and special interests that are doing the reform. Doctors were not asked anyone who quotes the AMA as an organization has no clue because last I checked their membership was only around 1/3 of all physicians.

    And for those deriding Paula, not that I care either way because at this point it would create more confusion and disaster if Obama's 100 days in office were nullified, but there are over 10 lawsuits pending, 2 at the level of the Supreme Court that have yet to be decided, on petition actually has 400,000 signatures. Don't take my word for it just do any law suit search engine. The issue isn't the birth certificate, that was RE-issued by Hawaii and published. It is the ORIGINAL birth certificate which bears the exact date and hospital. At the time of Obama's birth, Hawaii issued certificates to people born near Hawaii but not necessarily on US soil. The issue is probably moot at this point but the cases have not yet been ruled on.

    May 16, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. David in San Diego

    Paula-Please, please, please keep it up!! There is a slight chance that the Republican'ts could gain some electoral strength in 2010 or 2012, and we need wierdos like you and Rush and Boehner to make sure that doesn't happen. A grateful American gives you his thanks.

    May 16, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. KJA83

    Charles Boutsany will be the next Republican kicked out of the Republican party. This is no longer a political party but a political cult with religious ties. If people do not tow the line they are ejected. Thats not democracy. What we need is a strong oposition party but not the Republican party. They need to go the way of the wigs!

    May 16, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. Emilio

    Who are they kidding? This cabal of criminals calling themselves the Republican Party, should just go ahead and rename themselves The America-Hating Obstructionist Party, or simply the Repug AHOP Crime Syndicate. Obama should have already learned that these haters and their lard-ass leader, Lush Rimballs, wants nothing else but the abject failure of the American system. Perhaps they're in possession of Credit Default Swaps that will pay them gigantic returns when everything in this country fails.

    May 16, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. virginia for obama

    Paula, . . . STOP SHOWING HOW IGNORANCE YOU ARE!!!!!

    It's. . . .SO. . . . Unintelligent.

    May 16, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Mishajohn

    Now there's a headline: "GOP Pledges to Work With Crypto-Musllim, Non-Citizen, Communist/Socialist/Fascist Who Pals Around With Terrorists."

    The GOP has become a laughingstock. It's become so erratic, shifting message and tone so frequently, that no one can take it seriously.

    May 16, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Arlene, Roselle, Illinois

    Liar, Liar Pants on fire!

    May 16, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. GOPer

    Good move GOP, thank you. Let's participate in building, not tearing down. American's are counting on us.

    May 16, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. RyanD.

    "I hate taxes! Minorities, immigrants, gays and poor people suck! One day I'm going to be rich just like my wealthy Republican overlords! They said I would because I'm a straight Caucasian man, it is my God given right! If only these people who don't look or think like me would stop infringing on my entitlements!" – Brainwashed Right Wingers.

    May 16, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Tim S

    Rush & Dick will not agree to anything Obama says, so the issue is dead.

    May 16, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. alvino

    Paula-

    What you know for a fact is not true. Do not believe what Alan Keyes tells you. He was beaten like a rented mule, 75% to 25% by Obama in a senate election in Illinois.

    May 16, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. annie s

    In other words, the Republicans want to work with the President unless, of course, the President wants to deliver real change.

    May 16, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. anthony

    They want to work with him, at least until the leader of the party, Rush Limbaugh, raises a stink, then they won't.

    May 16, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. T Mckinley

    The GOP pledges to work WITH Obama on health care reform?

    Yeah...Right...

    The only way I can see the Republicans working WITH Obama on health care reform is if Obama abandons his goal of universal coverage and adopts THEIR goal of absolute consumer-based privatized healthcare where everyone has to pay for their healthcare out of their own pockets.

    It's never going to happen.

    May 16, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. Texas Teacher

    Oh, yes.... we have some common ground as long as we do not head for universal health like most of the civilized world. God forbid, that we should end the gravy train of Doctors, Hospitals, Insurance Companies, and Pharmacuitcal Companies for the welfare of the Common Man! That would simply be unthinkable.... DC is in the back pocket of these companies.... so it will be a cold day in Hell before we will see such "make sense" changes in our health care system! I have friends in Europe... I know how their system works! I know why they are so much more healthy than we are! And I know that our political system will only feed us propaganda about those truths! Democracy! Pffft.... you mean Government (ruled by big business) Dictatorship!

    May 16, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Mike

    Seems like another GOP Lie..........Lets see how many vote on getting some actual work done with President Obama

    May 16, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Scott of Utah

    I think republicans and the Insurance/Health Care companies realize that reform is going to go through with or without their help. I don't believe that the old core republican politicians really want anything to change; they make too much money as it is. If reform is going to go through with or without them, then they want to have a seat at the table and want to share in the accolades when it is finished. If it passed without their help, they would look even worse than they do now.

    I just hope its not a completely argumentative type of "help."

    May 16, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Eric Beck

    Well, I rarely trust anything a GOP'er says, since in my 53 years I've never seen a political party in this country put their failing agenda so ahead of the well-being of the American People. Since Nixon, this Party has shown virtually NO concern for the common American (See last three Repub Administrations and their contributions to national deficit. See their persistant resistance to better environmental policy, from protecting wetlands as mitigation to catastophic hurricane swells, to cleaning up the the dirty air that wreaks havoc on childrens' & seniors' health. See the effects of massive Republican influence on the nation's financial system via Rand disciple Greenspan. Etc.). But maybe this guy is sincere. After all, he IS a doctor.

    May 16, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Annie

    Super MOD, I understand your rant, but there are some things you left out. The generation benefiting from Medicare now paid to take care of the generation that came before. And truly, when you go to a doctor and get charged $800 for blood tests and office visit, do you honestly expect they will agreeably regulate themselves. There's the mansions and sports car(s), after all. The government is in the unenviable position of having to step in. People are chosing to die because the costs are out of control.

    May 16, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Purple Spider

    As long as his Health Care plan doesn't cut off those who are covered by a work Health program and Union protected. There is so much propaganda "floating around", that it is difficult to know what to believe.

    May 16, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. MESA MICK

    "Desire" and "Doing" two entirely different things.

    The GOP bafoons will do everything they can to prevent and/or obstruct health care reform but tell the voting public that they are just standing on GOP principles and it's all the dems fault. And you know what, there will be low information voters who will actually believe them!

    May 16, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Aaron in Los Angeles

    Republicans and Democrats are both equally responsible for the current health care crisis we are in. I work in the healthcare industry and I can unequivocally say that the kind of reform we need is to get government out of healthcare completely. If America gets more government intervention, or even worse a single-payer system, then Americans will have to start travelling abroad for their medical needs just like the Canadians and the British do.

    May 16, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Barbara Campbell

    Neocons: let us know when you start to work with our President - we may have a difficult time recognizing it.

    May 16, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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