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. flybyshoeing

    I don't know what the Republics will do in regards to healthcare. Sen Grassley is the one we will have to watch. Sen Backus is running the hearings like a Carnival Circus. Why are the next three hearings being held behind closed doors. No media, no public access. What is going on. Single payer is off the table. Public option will be no different than an HMO. Controlled medical care.

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

    Yeh, right. Like that idiot from New Hampshire who held himself out as a moderate and lead Obama to believe that he wanted to join the administration, and then stabs the President in the back by holding a press conference on Fox News to turn down Obama's offer and then take the lead on that Fox comedy show (Fox News Sunday) criticizing the stimulus plan. Well guess what? The recovery is underway and Obama is as popular as ever.

    May 16, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Keeth in California

    Well, there's a first time for everything - but I'm not holding my breath.

    May 16, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. G NO P

    Paula May 16th, 2009 11:19 am ET

    Obama is paying lawyers to hide his birth certificate. We know that fact because his lawyers answers to suits all over the country are public record. There’s nothing crazier than a President hiding his birth certificate. People need to know that fact.".

    I second the fact that you are an idiot

    May 16, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. John

    "Fat chance" says Rush the Limpy.

    May 16, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Texas Teacher

    For the Love of GOD, Paula... are you still spouting that bit on NONSENSE about Obama place of birth!

    At risk of sounding redundant... because I have to say this about once a week to some dim wit who does not have enough sense to get his head out of his BuT... I mean behind and check out these stupid urban myths!


    May 16, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Don

    Just the usual BS ffrom the republicans.

    Health Care reform is fine for them as long as it's a complete fake and protects the huge profits of the for-profit status quo.

    Offering a public alternate would not cause anyone to lose their existing insurance. It would only introduce a new option in competition with the for-profit health entities.

    That's what's completely unacceptable to the republicans...

    May 16, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. james

    Yeah right...put up or shut up GOP. The party of big business has blocked quality health care for the masses for decades. Seeing is believing, and if there isn't a buck to be made for them and their corporate cronies, I sincerely doubt that they'll support any kind of reforms, health care or otherwise. Good health care should be a right, not a privilege of the wealthy elite. I say let them suffer without it and see how they like it.

    May 16, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. JD in Moraga

    And for their next trick, the RNC will invent fire.

    May 16, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Michigan father used to always say..."don't believe everything you read.." finishing it by always search for the of the best apolitical websites available is

    Check it out and enlighten yourself to FACTS...they are liberating to the mind ...and heart...

    May 16, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. teacher

    It sure would be great for the country if both sides would come together as one and work for the good of the American people like they are supposed to do, but that will never happen as long as we have such idiots as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Bill O'Reilley who are paid to stir up trouble by stating lies as gospel. Keith Olbermann can be just as bad, but he is quick to point out where the three above are wrong. My question is Why are American people so idiotic that they believe these "entertainers" who make a fortune by lying?

    May 16, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. JM

    And the dingbat of the year award goes to ...


    Congrats Paula!!

    Anybody with half a brain knows that the birth certificate has already been verified by the State of Hawaii and that they have the original on file there. Your side lost, so give it up already.

    May 16, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. francine, Quebec

    Let me get this right.." Republicans want to help President Obama..." Yeah..When pigs fly !!

    May 16, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Stormer

    No one actually believes this. The Repubs are just making noise so when they continue their in obstructionist ways, they can disingenuously say "well, we offered" (smirk smirk).

    The duplicitous GOP just can't walk their talk.

    May 16, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. John

    I had to laugh when OLIAR was asked a question at the New Mexico town hall meeting the other day.A lady asked him about The crook max backus taking 250000 from the insurance industry and the same amount from the pharmacuticals,and overseeing the finance of the health reform.She also asked about single payer and OLIAR din't answer either.Also look how much money OLIAR just asked for the wars,more than ever.Its very apperent that OLIAR is worse than we have ever have.I lost my vote in OLIAR,and will vote against him,if he gets the nomination.He would have never won if we only would have known OLIAR was taliking out both sides of his mouth.Wake up America and take this country back

    May 16, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Chris from Pennsylvania

    We need single-payer NHS style healthcare system in this country. No Republicans involved, because they will just axe up the whole project. Canada and the UK have a dual system of public and private, you can choose which one you want in to, so what's the problem? Everyone still has the option of private healthcare, just the government is adding itself as a competitor, and competition is good, right my free market advocates?

    May 16, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. sensible Cape Coral FL

    I have found that those most opposed to Health Care Reform are those who already have more than adequate care themselves. The rest of us can go to hell..

    May 16, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. Harry S

    Here is moderation. If the Republicans stop insulting my brain with their tired idea of "government bureacrats" controlling health care in this nation when 47 million American's have no health care in the richest nation on earth as a reason to continue this untenable position than I will be happy to moderate my comment that they are "stupid". The Republican representatives in Congress are foolish hypocrites when they themselves are on the government "dole". Let them give up their big fat goverment salary....their big fat governement retirement....and their big fat governement health care medical insurance and then they can preach to the American people about "government bureaucrats" not controlling our health care system. This is why it is difficult to be "moderate" with such twisted Republican nonsense on the airwaves and in print!

    May 16, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Speider

    Perhaps this is the step to show the new direction of the republican party platform? Both parties did talk health care during the election campaign. Perhaps it is a clear and simple issue that both parties, who see it time for a more universal health care program, will indeed find a common ground. Expect petty bickering and the usual mud-flinging, but could we be on track to more affordable health care?

    May 16, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. James

    Paula ,

    If you really believe that , please don't vote , your a danger to yourself and others.

    May 16, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. Irene

    Be very very careful Obama. This is a trick. The GOP can't be trusted. Remember Watergate, the stolen Bush elections, torture, outing CIA agents, lies that led up to an illegal war, swift boat ads..... The GOP can never ever be trusted again. We need another party to replace them because somebody needs to keep the Dems in check, but it's not or ever can be the GOP again.

    May 16, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. Pamela

    Healthcare the ongoing discussion. The flu has been in the news and it is concerning because people are still goint to work, school,sponsered events. Anything that puts us in close quarters should be closed. This is healthcare reform Prevention is the best medicine. Oh and affordable healthcare when you possibly have a virus what a concept?!

    May 16, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Christine

    Cool. I hope they are for real.

    May 16, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. Really!?

    I am not opposed to health care reforms. But expanding government ran health care is not the way to go. We have medicare that is going bankrupt in 8 is expanding Medicare ( as the commercials from suggest) going to improve that? Increasing premiums and spreading costs would need to happen. Healthier people would need to shoulder premiums for the high end users to make it cash flow. This is what privatized health care is already doing. This will just be one more government fiasco that lets me pay for my own and bottom feeders health care too. I already feed their kids and buy their cigarettes and beer.

    May 16, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Ray Fisher

    Never in the history of our nation have we ever experienced a better reason to "Throw the bums out" as our economic meltdown has presented. Any vote for incumbents is a vote for staying the course, with another meltdown likely in short order. Politicians never learn they merely blame someone else and continue plundering. Our President may be an exception if the old heads don't ruin him!!!

    May 16, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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