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. Patriot

    The Repukes will never work with anyone, even themselves. Get rid of all of them!

    May 16, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. harold

    Of course they want to get in on heath care reform... to mold it in a form that makes it less reformed.... to soften the affect on their money guys... why have they fought everything from Medicare to this reform?.. To keep the money flowing for their boys in the health industry.. they could care less about 50 million people without health care.. it cramps their moneyed style... sorry republicans.. but its the truth...

    May 16, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Judi Baller

    Yeah, sure. I really believe the GOP.

    May 16, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. John

    The Republicans are constantly bringing up this spectre of a government run health care system. Decisions being made by doctors and families today? Give me a break. You can't use a tissue if your HMO doesn't approve it first. A national health insurance pool is a great way to lower the risk and cost to employers. I think some people have missed the part where YOU DON"T HAVE TO BE PART OF IT. What part of "you can keep your current plan if you want" do people not get? I know our education system is in desparate need of help, but please. It's not hard.

    As a second point, a the best health care system in the world that is too expensive for you to access, is useless. Think about it.

    May 16, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Joe Smoe


    Lets us know where you get your crazy information and the
    facts to back it up please. ASAP!!!

    May 16, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. Robin in Tampa, FL

    The ball is in the Republican's court if they want to work with the President or not ... so far they've done nothing but say "No" to everything Obama's put forward.

    May 16, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. AJ

    I'm sure that Obama will capitulate to every demand that Republicans make. Obama is a worthless, spineless human being who is only interested in appeasing republicans and helping big business. Its itme all the Obamabots out there see this man for whaat he truly is.

    May 16, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Fitz in Texas

    RJW...................Not a surprise you would attack someone (Paula) by calling them an "idiot" when they voice their opinion.. It was made public that Obama hired lawyers to keep his birth certificate sealed. Then poof, all of a sudden one appears months later that many agree is fake. I for one am not sure the President was born in this country. If there was any question to where I was born (in the United States) I wouldn't be able to get my birth certificate out there for all to see. Well, if I was born in this country.

    May 16, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. jake

    WOW! this is the first time in years i have heard republicans at least hint that they are concerned with a problem that are sincronized with what americans are concerned about. This may seem like a tiny notional step in the right direction for the party, but from the direction they have been going this is a major step... still they have a VERY long way to go that is going to take close to a decade to fix if they are lucky. im not holding my breath or changing my new voting pattern yet though

    May 16, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. NC in New Jersey

    Super MOD said: "We all pay 7.65% of our income into Medicare. Thus, a person making $20000 a year pays in around $1530 a year and a person making $60000 a year pay in around $4590 a year. Medicare also takes payments from a work today to pay the benefits of a retired worker. If you are wondering, this is the same definition of a ponzi scheme.".


    The tax is only 1.45% and not 7.65%. You pay 1.45% and your employer pays another 1.45%, on your behalf, thus bringing the total medicare contribution to 2.9%, still far cry from 7.65%

    May 16, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Suddenly an epiphany?

    So the Republicans agree with the basic tenets set forth by the President for health care reform. I wonder, then, why the Republican talking head goes out of his way to describe all the things with which he cannot agree, which also happen to be the opposite of what the President said. "We agree with the President's stated goals, but if his plan is the opposite of his stated goals, we're going to oppose that." That's good to know. What are you going to use to scare people when his reforms mirror his stated goals? Rationing? Taxes? Gay Marriage? Why do they bother with this charade?

    May 16, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. S M R

    I had to pinch myself thinking this was a dream. Is this the calm before the storm or simply if you can't beat em, join them?

    May 16, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. JohnNYC

    "Republicans want to work with President Obama and other Democrats." Right. Like the Democrats would ever allow that. Good luck in the 2012 elections.

    May 16, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    First off I don't believe the Repukes will work with Obama on anything since for them, it's always PARTY FIRST.

    Secondly, whatever health care plan they DO come up with, it shouldn't be forced universal coverage unless it's totally free.

    May 16, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. Mike in Texas

    Paula. Please come to the table with facts not garbage.

    Remember, we are entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts.

    Thank you.

    May 16, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. S Callahan

    Well then, lets get a move on it and get this thing passed....My premiumns are outrageous...mind lowering them some so I can at least have a few more years to live.

    May 16, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. S.B.

    It would be wonderful if they would really do what Boustany said, but I suspect it means they'll work with Obama if he's willing to do things their way. If its like the prescription drug coverage, that means we'll all end up paying more than we should so the pharmaceutical and insurance companies can get a big subsidy.

    May 16, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. nick, uk

    i live in the uk. our nhs is about 8% of GDP. your health system is over double that and its not getting cheaper. you have the most expensive system on the planet, and it doesnt even cover everyone, so 18000 people die every year. arent you ashamed of that? richest country in the world? its ridiculous.

    May 16, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. Easy Cruz

    Its about time the Republicans, ur-uhm Republican put away the rhetoric and wants to work on an issue. Our health care system is a good start but wouldn't it be a nice dream if the GOP would have an air of consensus on all our immediate issues instead of sitting back and waiting for the President to slip so they can say "I told you so".... The blame game doesn't satisfy the majority of us hard working Americans who still think this country is great. Despite its ideology, the GOP was known for its knuckle down, let's get the job done attitude. (At least I think so, excluding the Bush years) The GOP wants to renew its status so let them knuckle down again and start working on the economy, health care, education, and the many other plagues of our country. Then maybe they'll be known as the party that helps instead as the party that yelps.

    May 16, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. jason twombley

    paula, there obviously no one more stupid than you on the face of this earth.. grow the hell up and see the world, take off yuor blinders before you lose sight completely of the world around you

    May 16, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Ron in Wisconsin Dells WI

    Seeing is believing.I do not think the GOP has any intention of working with anyone who wants to help people that are struggling to live today tommorrow or anytime soon.If they are sincere about wanting to truly help people they need to start by putting action in front of words.Starting right now.People are starving and can not find a decent paying job and are losing there homes and cars and any dignity they might have left.And I guaranty they will remember this and it will take a very long time before one single republican is ever trusted again.So if they want to change for the better they better start rolling up there sleeves right now and get to work because there is a whole lot of mess to fix here that they have partial to blame.This is the only way they can rectify anything.

    May 16, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  22. Jasmine in Germany

    I don't believe the Republican Party. They all seem to have their own interestss first, not the country. Health care has been a problem for a long time.
    David Plouthe wrote today:
    "We knew healthcare reform would face fierce opposition - and it's begun. As we speak, the same people behind the notorious "swiftboat" ads of 2004 are already pumping millions of dollars into deceptive television ads. Their plan is simple: torpedo healthcare reform before it sees the light of day by scaring the public and distorting the President's approach."

    May 16, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. tcaudilllg

    At least someone's not listening to Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich is a dishonorable American who abused the privileges of his office. He enjoys inciting anger and distrust in others. He is bad for America.

    May 16, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  24. Bill ~ Down on the Bayou

    Boustany and any other so called Republican who would agree with him are like Colin Powell, nothing more than closet democrats, with them in his pocket obama wins, the country becomes socialist within the next two (2) years.

    May 16, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. gobama

    If u care 4 the american people. why didnt u fix da insurance mess when u were in charge. voters are on 2 u republicans.

    May 16, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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