October 31st, 2009
10:37 AM ET
9 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. Fitz in Texas

    The problem is the Democrats don't want to hear from anyone if it doesn't agree with their takeover.

    October 31, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. CM

    The new plan that the republicans are now using to win elections is full of a bunch of lies. I am with the person who stated "what were they doing for health care when they were in office" NOTHING. They had coverage and they could have cared less. They have filled this campaign for health care with nothing but lies. WAKE UP there are Americans who need your support. I have been a nurse for years and I have seen our poor health care system daily with many lives lost. Also, if anyone wants to change Medicare & and SS for the worse it is the republicans; to them those programs are a form of welfare.

    October 31, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    POPPYCOCK!! I think that Fla congressman Grayson told us quite honestly what the GOP plan for healthcare was.

    October 31, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. R Redman~ CA

    Susan Reyes October 31st, 2009 10:20 am ET

    I believe that Vice President Biden is being disrespectful of the office that he holds by discounting the views of his predecessor as irrelevant. I hope that the same is not done to him when he leaves office–or before.

    Wow, thanks for showing us what stup!d looks like....

    Just wow...

    October 31, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Jim K.

    To Susan Reyes:

    Susan, you can respect Dick Cheney all you want to, but I don't.

    To me he is manipulative, lying, scheming, secretive, pro-torture, big money, cancer in our society. More damage to our country was done during his years than any administration I can remember.

    Did you happen to see the newest report about Cheneys investigation by Patrick Fitzgerald of the Valeria Plame leak? His standard answer was "I don't remember".

    Now, if you wish to accept that kind of behavior as respectable, then it's up to you. Personally, When Alberto Gonazales did the same thing under oath it made me want to throw up.

    Dick Cheney will go down in history as the most destructive, secretive, lying, corrupt, back-room Vice-President in history. The verdict is already in and it will not change. If the purpose of an elected politician is to serve his country honestly and with wisdom and forsight and a sense of what is best for the citizens, then Dick Cheney should be considered a traitor. Hundred's of thousands of innocent Iraqi's were murdered under his watch. People were tortured. Secret deals were cut with Halliburton and every other major corporation that he was in bed with. The man is a disgrace.

    If you want to respect somebody like that, it is your option. But I don't know how you could possibly defend your position. This country, and the entire world, will be better off when this heartless man is gone forever. I know it, so do millions of other people, and Joe Biden knows it.

    Dick Cheney is a pig of a man.

    October 31, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Steve

    Hmm, the Republicans were in power of both the Executive and Legislative branches of government from 2000 – 2006, 6 years, and we saw nothing regarding health care reform. Now they come out with this so-called plan. Looks like they've been "dithering" on badly needed healthcare reform.

    October 31, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Do you think there would be debate about health reform if old man McCain and clueless Palin were in office? Honestly?

    Now that Obama is pushing it suddenly they are interested and have their own lame ideas.

    Johnny come latelys.

    October 31, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. leon

    I wish Hillary Clinton would have been our president instead of the double standard politician we had as president. Obama never changes Illinois and Chicago corrupted system it was never his intention so why should we think that he is going to change Washington now. He never stopped thinking about his re-election in 2012 from November 2008 and that is what moves him and drives his decision. He is motivated by power not by principles and he has showed that again and again.

    October 31, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. independent

    Republicans come up with names for policies which sound like the Preserve Our Forests Act, and the Clean Air and Water Act, and we have all learned that they do the exact opposite of what they say.

    If they say they have a comprehensive, health care reform bill, you can assume 1) they don't, 2) it isn't, and 3) it doesn't.

    October 31, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Carl Justus

    Yes, the republicans have a medical insurance plan and it has been detailed. It is if you get sick die quickly.

    October 31, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Lil Dubya

    GOP Plan:
    1. Institute tort reform to protect business interests and other campaign contributers.
    2."experiment" with some other stuff.

    Fool me once shame on me..fool me ...and you wont get fooled again

    October 31, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. RonC

    Boehner needs to play Ostrich and stick head in ground. He is all show and no go, along with lots of his cronies. Repubs are continually working against anything that may help the american people, other than making rich richer and playing uncalled for war to waste billions. They have no plan nor have they done anything to help people during their tenure.

    October 31, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. WV Gal

    The Republicans are scared silly of the "Public Option" as the health insurance industry will have competition. To make it "true competition" it would have to be a robust option that would allow those insured by their employers and those under "self insured" employers to choose a different option for a plan that is better than what they have now. This way self-insured employers would no longer be able to limit what care you are able to get access to.

    You would think Republicans would like a robust public option as the financial expenses having to pay for health insurance/medical care to their employees would be lifted off the back of business. Of course Senator Grassley has chosen the public option for congress members, but he won't tell you that. It's good enough for him, it's good enough for us.

    October 31, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Tina, NC

    Amazed Dem,

    You must have been living under a rock. The various Dem plans have been talked about on every news outlet since the summer. CNN has done an excellent job of outlining and explaining the various bills. Also, every bill that has come out of committee has been posted, full text, online.

    You are mis-informed because you want to be mis-informed.

    October 31, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. FactCheck

    The Republican plan: don't get sick and if you do, die quickly. Yup, plenty familiar with it.

    October 31, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. mark in atlanta

    The GOP and their corporate overlords are on the ropes. All the usual scare and smear tactics that have defended our crazy health care system for decades are failing. Obama has actually been quite pragmatic and even crafty about moving reform forward. It's clear that although no one Bohner has ever spoken to wants a public option (his words), the vast majority of Americans do. Just shows you how out of touch Bohner is.

    October 31, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. Lynne in CA

    Considering the Rethugs have had at least 60 years to come up with an American health care plan, I have a hard time believing this last ditch effort means anything other than continued pandering to corporate interests.

    October 31, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. Yougottaloveit

    According to John McCain, the republicans have NOT offered up a health reform plan....

    October 31, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Dawn, Ada, Ohio

    So where is this workable plan? I haven't seen it posted on line? You have nothing Republicans and that is exactly the plan you have to offer, because you are not about the people you are about the Insurance Industry. We all know where your bread is buttered and next election cycle we will prove that we know you are not for your constituents and we will vote your money grubbing butts right out of those comfy chairs you have grown so accustom to.

    October 31, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. once upon a horse

    this is downright COMICAL!! When the GOP teabaggers were out tea-bagging this past August they were against ALL kind of healthcare. I don't recall seeing the GOP offer ANY alternative to what the Dems were proposing. Just lies about death panels and giving free healthcare to illegals. Now all of a suddent they have a plan. Just like the budget they were suppose to come up with months ago to counter Obama's. Where is THAT Mr. Cantor? Perhaps the GOP still thinks there are more stupid people in this country like when Bush was chosen twice as president. People have gotten smarter since then which is why the Republicans have a mid 20's approval rating and only 20% admit to being Republicans.

    October 31, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. republicans hate america

    the boner says this as he takes another puff from his pipe

    October 31, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Where's the story?

    Finally the republicans are getting more vocal about their plan THAT WON'T BANKRUPT THIS COUNTRY.

    Dear Liberals/Democrats:

    I know you would like to think that this country can maintain the status quo and provide healthcare for everyone. I personally wish this was the truth as well. The fact of the matter is that we are dealing with an extremely inefficient system and throwing $1Trillion of OUR tax dollars at this problem isn't the solution. Simply using he excuse that Bush spent so much on the war is absolutley idiotic. We are in different times now and have a different wallet.

    Would you say that it's alright to go buy that house you can't afford because you bought that sports care last week that you couldn't afford?

    October 31, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Four and The Door

    The health care reform plan outlined by Obama is another lousy way to blow through $1 trillion of our taxes. It raises the cost of healthcare in America dramatically and ends up being just another inefficient government bureaucracy sucking the life out of our economy and providing no improvement in the quality of healthcare. It's a dismal future for Americans with ObamaCare both in and out of the hospital.

    How about paying attention to the entirely reasonable strategies proposed here instead of just throwing another $1 trillion at something that is worse than what we have now? I know it's important politically for Obama to get this done fast fast fast, but we will be paying for it forever or at least until future generations do the work to undo this new behemoth bureacracy.

    October 31, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. Tom

    CNN, why do you simply report The Boner's ridiculous lies as if they are meaningful statements? This is perhaps the most laughable thing he has ever said, and that's saying a lot. He wouldn't know a health care solution if it bit him in the backside, but at least he could go get the wound treated through his GOVERNMENT-PROVIDED health care–never mind that he'd do anything to prevent the rest of us from getting care that good.

    October 31, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. The Emperor has no clothes

    Republicans with a health care plan? I thought they believed that government is the problem and that only unregulated free markets are the solution. I am waiting for them all to resign from office and seek emplyment in the all knowing private sector.

    October 31, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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