October 31st, 2009
10:37 AM ET
8 years ago

Boehner: Only Republicans have offered workable health-care plan

WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Minority Leader John Boehner pushed back Saturday against critics who accuse the GOP of attacking President Barack Obama's health-care plan without offering a formal Republican alternative.

"As a matter of fact, only Republicans have offered solutions to lower health-care costs and make it easier to obtain quality, affordable coverage without imposing a massive burden on the American people," Boehner said in the weekly Republican radio and Web address.

"We first released our health-care plan in June, and over the last six months, we have introduced at least eight bills that, taken together, would implement this blueprint," he said.

The GOP released the guiding principles of its health-care agenda in June, but did not release a comprehensive legislative blueprint at that point. Republican congressional leaders have said the party is in the process of crafting a substitute.

On the official GOP Web site, to which Boehner referred, the party pledges to formally offer its own plan during upcoming floor debate on the bill introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The site says the Republican proposal will incorporate all or part of the elements of health-care bills introduced by individual members, and a health-care plan introduced by the Republican Study Committee.

Boehner repeated Saturday the four main elements of the GOP's health care agenda:

- To let individuals and small businesses look for better insurance deals in other states.

- To allow them to pool together to receive the kind of insurance deals typically offered to large corporations.

- To create an environment that gives states greater range to experiment with cost-saving health care reforms.

- To institute tort reform.

He compared the Democratic version of the health-care plan to Bill and Hillary Clinton's failed 1993 proposal.

"It's clear where the American people stand on this issue," Boehner said.

"They're frustrated and fed up.

"We now have a choice: We can come together to implement smart, fiscally responsible reforms to improve Americans' health care or we can recklessly pursue this government takeover that creates far more problems than it solves," he said.

Floor debate on the Democratic bill introduced in the House on Thursday could begin as soon as next week.

Filed under: GOP weekly address
soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Boehner must be new to the country. Boehner and fellow republicans had full control, and decpetion, for the first 6 years under Bush. If there was a time they could do SOMETHING, it was then. America has spoken to Republicans, "shut up and sitdown", you blew your chance.

    October 31, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Joe Sr

    Earth to Boehner
    An outline is not a plan.......on the other hand at least he might be able to read it if it was posted on line for 72 hours.......PATHETIC

    October 31, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Odis W in Atlanta

    Why are the Republicans now just getting around to "introducing" their plan? What were they doing from 2001-2006? The Republicans have just become one long running bad joke.

    October 31, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Shane

    All I can about the GOP is LMAO!!

    October 31, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. JB Sullivan MD

    In all of my 25 years of medical practice and administration the Republican party has done nothing to assist Americans in health care. The GOP has fought every change in health care that benefits the common paerson and physician. The nation's physicians have spoken, 73 % want health reform and support Mr. Obama. 63% of the nations's physicians want arobust public option. Republican leaders ignore truth. The party of no can never be the party of "know."

    October 31, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. Chris

    The "Republican's Plan for Heathcare Reform" kind of reminds me of the "Republican's Federal Budget." Remember that? It was just four pages and included no numbers. I've seen childrens' letters to Santa that had more substance. These few, flimsy ideas put forth by the Right have all been dismissed by non-partisan researched groups. They will do little, if anything, to reign in excessive health care costs. Furthermore, they do nothing to address other critcal concerns, such as people being denied for "pre-existing conditions."

    Stop throwing out bread crumbs and pretending its a feast!

    October 31, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Tim E

    Boehner's "wishful thinking" sounds a lot like the Democrat's plans. Of course, seeing a plan in toto might make a big difference. The Democrats have provided full texts of total plans in both the House and Senate. The Republicans are still talking "promises." Until they walk the walk, the Republicans seem indecisive, like maybe the teleprompter isn't rolling or they are just afraid to commit. Attacking someone's idea is always more fun than having to defend one's own.

    October 31, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. Jane

    Oh, this is funny. I would never trust these people with anything again. They are finished, washed up and evil. Republicans couldn't come together on anything!!!!!

    October 31, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. Mo

    Sure Boehner, let's just deregulate the already out of control industry even more, that will fix everything. You aren't a coporate tool at all.

    October 31, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. GOP = 21st century dodo


    Boehner's like the kid who obviously didn't read the book before doing his report.

    October 31, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. payback

    ....If that being the case....Why seven years late... When they ran the show. We could've had health care reform.....I THINK NOT!

    October 31, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. Anonymous

    Boehner plan...DELAY DENY DO NOTHING take that pill America!

    October 31, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Larry

    Have ALL the Republicans fallen down a rabbit hole ???

    What a joke

    Obviously the one owned by the Insurance Companies

    October 31, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. Justin

    Sounds like all it does is increase competition between the same unethical immoral companies that, apparently not at issue to this republican, continue to back out of their end of the deal and deny coverage when people need it most. There is no health care reform without the PUBLIC OPTION! Don't let them fool you! The republicans are just trying to change the subject, not actually solve anything.

    October 31, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. Will-South Dakota

    Boehner Plan....DELAY DENY DO NOTHING take that pill America!

    October 31, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Tim in Minnesota

    Not really much of a plan here, unless you are part of the health insurance industry. Kind of a farce, really. Wish these guys would come up with something more innovative rather than regurgitating the same old stuff. Also, I think it's curious that only now, when the floor debate is to begin, will the so-called "formal plan" be revealed. The other formal proposals have been out there for quite some time. Could it be that they don't want the American people to know how flimsy the plan is so they can just cry foul when the thing is ignored by the D's? Hmmm...
    I've always felt that tort reform would take a long, long time to implement. I don't think that you can just single out the health care industry. If you're going to do tort reform, you kind of have to do it to cover all industries. Otherwise, there's going to be lot of crying "Foul."
    In addition, I wonder why the esteemed Mr. Boehner seldom mentions "regulating" the health insurance industry? Sorry you guys, you need some new leadership.

    October 31, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. Kevin

    Ah... always in progress. The problem with that is that they offer nothing up for debate, so they can't be criticized for what they do. It's classic obstruction politics. Voters – keep that in mind. No plan is perfect, so when one is offered there will always be a chorus of critics. The democrats, at least, are moving forward. And while I don't like everything in the plan, I do like the forward progress toward a time when everybody is covered at a reasonable price and healthcare is a right of citizenship, not a privilege for the wealthy.

    October 31, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. Richie

    Who cares what the Party of Old White Men thinks? Raise your hand. Is it old, white and male?

    October 31, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. Tom Sawyer

    Here's the honest truth the GOP is afraid to tell you:

    If health care reforms were to occur as proposed under the Democratic plan, Americans will actually like it – which ultimately translates to more votes for Democrats.

    This is true in every country that has universal healthcare. People like it and anybody who tries to take it away can never get elected.

    The Republicans know this.

    Look at social insurance and Medicare. No matter what the Republicans do, they are helpless against closing these government programs because they know if they did, they would lose everything!

    October 31, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. Bill Lewis in Austin

    How can you believe anything coming from one of the leaders of the "Obstructrionist Party"? He hasn't agreed on one single issue since the new administration took over. What's worse, he has failed to accept any responsibility for the mess that this country found itself in. I'd be embarrassed to have him as my state representative.

    October 31, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. Bill from GA

    Let's have tort reform. Then let's have a Federal review board, working like the FAA works with pilots, and take away the 'license' of any doctor who screws up.

    We need a public option to keep price pressure on the insurance companies. Then let's get a public option for banking to get credit and credit cards reasonable again. After that, a public option on oil/gas supplies. (With demand down and supply up, prices go up; CAPITALISM IS NOT WORKING!)

    October 31, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Summation: we don't trust the corporate politicians any more. Does anybody wonder why?

    October 31, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. oregonian101

    Ahhhhh, just in time to try and further delay legislation. Typical GOP tactic.

    Whatever happened to the GOP of the Eisenhower era. He knew back then that healthcare was going to become corporate run with huge money going to legislators. Now the GOP is about Wealth (since Reagan's tax cuts), "NO" and Delay now that there is a Democratic congress.

    Frankly, I'm also tired of Joe Lieberman. Anything to grab headlines. $5 says he changes back to GOP, or moves to caucus with them after this next set of elections. If he votes no on the procedural piece to allow the Senate Healthcare bill for a full vote on the Senate Floor he should be removed from his committee chair and removed from the caucus if he doesn't switch on his own. I would be happy if a true moderate Repulican beat him in his next election.

    October 31, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. johnrj08

    This guy Boehner makes Palin look like a genius. The man's brain has been cooked in too many tanning booths. The GOP has NEVER offered any kind of bill. All they've offered is criticism of the Democratic bills and some extremely vague talking points about what they would do. It is common knowledge that Mitch McConnell is in the back pocket of the insurance industry. Boehner's claim is pure cow manure.

    October 31, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Odd that the party that spent eight years digging American into the deepest hole in its history now claim to offer "solutions"....that they can't present either on paper or their own website. The Republicans continue to be the party of the wealthy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy. Just think of what the one TRILLION dollars wasted in Iraq could have done for health care reform for Americans.

    October 31, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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