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. ran

    This guy is a prime reason we need term limits of all our elected officials. where was he and the Republicans on this issue when they had control; in a tanning bed somewhere.

    This guy should be trying to sale use cars.

    October 31, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Scott, Tucson

    Obama and his gang could care less about health care for us, this is just another democratic ploy to raid our wallets again through higher taxes and fees. Again, if this plan is so great than why are they exempting themselves from having to enroll under this plan?

    October 31, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. Mad in Florida

    After reading more of the comments, it need to add something. Didn't the Clinton's try to remake healthcare and failed miserably. It's not a REPUBLICAN v. DEMOCRAT problem. IT'S AN AMERICAN PROBLEM. Please stop all the partisan bickering and start doing something positive. Obviously neither party has the complete answer and maybe the White House and Congress are too set in their ways. What about an American solution – let's get some regular people (professionals of course) to try to find a workable plan! I say to heck with the politicians let's take care of ourselves.

    October 31, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. Matthew

    Clearly since the GOP had "my way or the highway" the past 8 years, any idea that they personally didn't come up with is bad. You guys had your chance, and everything went to hell. I for one am okay with letting someone else have a try.

    October 31, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. New Age Independent

    Here we go again, the Democrats, the New and Improved PARTY OF NO... The Republicans have been offering their plan for months, and have posted it online, yet the Democrats can't acknowledge anything. They are only interested is spending our taxpayer dollars to line their own pockets.

    October 31, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Independent

    Oh for heavens sake Boehner, don't break your arm patting yourself on the back.....you and your NO party don't have a clue or a plan...you are just trying to make yourself look good and it sure isn't working with me....

    October 31, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. vic nashville , Tn

    Past 100years they can’t offer anything now they offering

    What a joke

    October 31, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. Ex-NC-Pub

    What is your plan? I only recall your earlier budget complete with NO numbers.

    October 31, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. John of NY

    I can't stand Republicans but Boehner is right here. The Dem plan is guaranteed to fail. The gov't needs to stay in the business of making rules for companies to follow not replacing them.

    2 things must happen for any plan to succeed:
    Allow competition across state lines and international lines for even more competition.
    Fix the Tort system that pushed insurance companies to increase rates.

    After that if you want to hand out coverage give them vouchers to buy it. Reward companies that provide insurance not punish them for being good.

    October 31, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Me, MN

    This is a joke. Tort reform? How well has that worked in the states that have instituted it? Most lawsuits are for auto accidents and property liability, not med mal. I know, I work for a health insurance company and I see the types of lawsuits for which we have to provide copies of paid claims. Med mal is rare. Buying insurance across state lines? How many people have individual policies rather than obtaining insurance through their employers? I think Rep. Grayson had the GOP's plan down pat - don't get sick and if you do, die quickly. Where is your moral responsibilty, GOP? How can you deny coverage to your fellow man? You all claim to be Christian but your actions speak otherwise.

    October 31, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. katiec

    After all this time the GOP now has a "fantastic" health care plan??
    They talk about tax cuts. Tax cuts do not mean a thing to those who have nothing, who have been laid out or cannot afford the outrageous premiums.
    A few big corporations own health care insurance. And, they want us to believe going across state lines is going to resolve health care costs? Give me a break. The insurance companies will continue to rape the American people.
    Any plan the party of NOthing comes up with will benefit big business, sacrifice the American people. We all realize that and the popularity of the republican party will continue to diminish.
    Maybe someday they will get back to what they were elected to do and that is represent the American people and the survival of our country.

    October 31, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Tony in Maine


    Watch Boehner's nose grow, and grow, and grow.

    Why do Republicans lie you ask; because that's all they know. Were it not for lies, they'd stand mute.

    October 31, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. Az Senior

    I get it, workable for the Insurance Companies.

    October 31, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. KG, MN

    Here it is! The Republicans healthcare plan-–

    Pg. 1

    Any questions?

    October 31, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. jsmith

    Wow, OK you dont trust republicans, so is the answer to let the Democrats take over Health Care instead of fixing what we have. If its yes, you will live with it and force your children and their children to live with it. This is your decison I hope you dont regret the Government takeover. For me my answer is fix what we have..Tort reform, competition over state lines.

    October 31, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. lovable liberal

    Boehner really can say ANYTHING with a straight face. Any normal person would be embarrassed by the BS he sells, but he isn't.

    October 31, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Georgia

    What plan????

    Republican's = Incompetence!

    October 31, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Tony

    The far left looney Dems, have no interest in fixing healthcare, they only want to pave the way to single payer, government control everything. The ONLY thing that will save this country, is that in the next two elections, these out of step losers that are pushing taxes and cuts in service, for CONTROL, will be voted out and this whole P.O.S. will be repealed anyway. Its no wonder the Dems only get control of the government 2 years out of every 2 decades. PelosiCare? Still laughing at her and that one, a 2000 page bill that everyone gets 72 hours to read and digest. then that b%tch will have everyone vote on something no one knows and then do one of those embarrassingly fake news conferences. She and this entire congress is a joke. They only have 12 months left, bloodbath 2010 is coming and it can't get here soon enough.

    October 31, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. fed up

    @reginald....why do you believe the lies of the drmocrats so intent on destroying this country? do you have any idea how we can pay for Pelosi's plan when only 40% at most will be paying the taxes? What do you think of the medicare cuts? Great for the seniors who need the most health care. And, yes, the advisors are back in the bill for the "death panels". This is not reform, this is a take over of our economy. If Obama gets the health care, the government controls 48% of our economy. Yes, that is "socailism" acoording to the economist definition. I suggest dems wake up and become educated!

    October 31, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Deb

    To address Boehner's four elements of the GOP plan:
    1. Insurance companies will go where the state regulation is least restrictive; consumers will lose in that market. There must be uniform regulation nationwide in order for interstate competition to work FOR the consumers. And it is the consumer interest which is at the core of this debate.
    2. Pooling is also called "Health Care Exchange." This has been one option in the Dem's proposals, and how much support has this received from the Republicans?
    3. "To create an environment that gives states greater range to experiment..." Deregulation, in other words.
    4. To institute tort reform. Okay, let's hear more about that and incorporate that in a way to protect consumers and providers without putting either group at a disadvantage.

    The bottom line is health care and insurance is one-sixth of our economy and a growing percentage of consumer budgets, including driving some into bankruptcy. When the community has to hold spaghetti dinners to raise money to help their neighbor with medical expenses, something is wrong with the way our health care system is run.

    Let's quit the political posturing and work towards a solution that works, which includes consumers taking better care of themselves – you know, eating right and exercising. God, I wish the politicians cared more about their duty to their country that their political ambitions. Senators and Congressman, how about being willing to sacrifice your chances at winning your next election in order to give your constituents (and future Americans) good health care reform?

    (Oh, I can dream, can't I?)

    October 31, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. evman

    This guy is on heavy drugs. What a loser...

    October 31, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. Laurie

    I quote Representative Allan Grayson-The Republican health plan is "don't get sick" and if you get sick "die quickly."

    October 31, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Tim

    More empty promises and lies from the GOP. Gee, what a surprise! What's that? Only 20% of Americans consider themselves Republicans? I wonder why that is?!? They should realize they've lost this battle and just step aside. The time for real health care reform has come. And the country is finally going to win this battle.

    October 31, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Tony

    The only job sector that is growing is GOVERNMENT. I know I am not giving my money to these crooks for all the liberal garbage. They had better start adding IRS agents too, creative tax returns are sure to skyrocket!!!! If they catch me, I'll just use the Geitner, Rangel, all the other tax cheats OB hired. "Oops, sorry. I didn't know I was worth more and its probably TurboTax' fault. If you want healthcare, do it the old fashion way, get a job!! When this administration actually starts creating jobs and stops killing jobs, more will have health care. And instead of giving health care away, how about trading it for community service if these people are unwilling to work.

    October 31, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Connie, Indiana

    Hey, slick where is your plan? Put it on the web so we all can read it. YOu said the same thing about your "budget" too, 15 pages with no numbers, is this your health care plan also,16 pages of give aways to the insurance companies!

    October 31, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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