November 22nd, 2009
04:14 PM ET
4 years ago

Fiorina: Obama might have to 'eat his words' on health reform


Washington (CNN) – A day after the fragile Senate Democratic Caucus rallied to move the Democrats’ health care reform bill to the Senate floor for debate, the woman who wants to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer said Sunday that President Obama will have to “eat his words” on health care reform if the bill becomes law.

After telling CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that she does not support the health care reform bill crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Republican Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina took on President Obama over his top domestic agenda item during the first year of his administration.

“If you listen to what the President Obama said about this health care proposal, even he agreed with me. He said he wouldn’t sign into law a bill that increased the deficit. He said he wouldn’t sign into law a bill that increased the cost of health care. If this bill goes through, President Obama will have to eat his words or break his promise.”

Depending on what time frame is used to analyze the costs and revenues associated with the bill, Republicans and Democrats dispute whether the Reid bill is deficit-neutral. And Fiorina’s assertion that the Reid bill would increase health care costs is the criticism often leveled by conservatives against the new taxes that would be levied in order to pay for some of the bill’s costs, and to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office which found that premiums in the public health insurance option would be higher than average because people taking advantage of the public option would be sicker than the rest of the population.

“I agree with the goals of health care reform,” Fiorina also told King. “What I strenuously disagree with is [the idea] that this bill, or the one that made it through the House, solves the problem in any way.”

Fiorina, a breast cancer survivor, also took issue with new recommendations from an independent task force as to when and how often women should get mammograms.

“Had I followed these recommendations... I could well not be sitting here,” Fiorina told King.

“The truth is all of these preventative techniques… are saving lives. Who is to say that a nameless, faceless government bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. should determine that my life is too expensive to save?”

In response to the report, Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the guidelines do not set federal policy and don't determine what services are covered by the federal government. “Keep doing what you have been doing for years - talk to your doctor about your individual history, ask questions, and make the decision that is right for you,” Sebelius said in a statement.

Pressed on how health care reform could achieve cost containment, Fiorina responded that the focus should be on providing quality care.

“First, the decisions about care should rest between a patient and their doctor, the people who know the science. Second, if we would focus more on quality of care, we would lower costs. That’s been proven over and over again.”

“I don’t see this debate really focused, frankly, on the real issues,” Fiorina also said Sunday, “quality and let’s make sure that everyone is covered. Sadly, we have a business case [for health care reform] that doesn’t add up, quality isn’t going to be improved, and costs are on the rise.”

Fiorina has her sights set on challenging California Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer who is up for re-election in 2010. To do so, Fiorina must first win the Republican nod in a primary race against conservative California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. Fiorina is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. She was also an adviser to the 2008 McCain presidential campaign on economic issues.

soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. Xavier

    I trust nothing hat comes from a republican mouthpiece. When a republican speaks all I see is Bush. Do we reall want to go back to the days of Bush and Cheney?

    November 22, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. not alone

    Wow another clueless repub contender more interested in saying NO then trying to fix the issue.

    November 22, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. John J, IN

    Carly Fiorina – hardly the voice of truth and honesty. Sure is easy ruin a storied tech company, take a golden parachute then leave, and now sit back and criticize other people trying to fix real problems...

    November 22, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. Tony

    She's a hack!! The man is trying at least, which is refreshing considering what came before him, particularly the "I could care less about average folks" Bush Administration.

    November 22, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Susan in Arkansas

    Why is this woman news worthy? She's a nobody. I, too, am a breast cancer survivor. Does anyone want to hear my opinions??? With respect to her comment regarding the decisions of care resting with the patient and their doctor...does this also extend to those decisions regarding the termination of a pregnancy? Given Ms. Fiorina's corporate past, she is the last person to take President Obama to task. Forget her.

    November 22, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Jose From Tampa

    Did she left hewlett packard deficit neutral???????

    November 22, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Larry in Houston

    Must be nice to be a retired, rich corporate exec with guaranteed health care........

    November 22, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. jeanne

    Carly, you're irrelevant, you will see.

    November 22, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Beware the smooth talk from someone (Fiorina) who was a failure at running HP and received an undeserved Golden Parachute worth millions after being fired. This is the GOP model for success, rewarding the wealthy for failure. Sounds familiar, like the CEOs of failed financial companies on Wall Street.

    November 22, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. John an Independent from NY

    YES, this a great concept and poorly written. It needs to be completely scrapped and begun again. I credit Obama for his vision but I blame the congress for the useual garbage. FIX IT or lose all support.

    November 22, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. CNN afraid of a liberal post

    Boy those republicans sure like to start conterversary to get their name in the media don't they. She is the lowest of the low on the totem pole. So she whines and pines and slurs trying to get noticed.

    While the company that fired her just sits back and laughs. She couldn't make it in a business but she thinks she is qualified to be a senator. That's a republican for you...All hat and no cattle.

    November 22, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Preston kathy the one think about barbara boxer she cares for people

    November 22, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Obama the Politician's politician

    Bring it to them, Carly! Boxer is so done.

    November 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Mickey

    "She was also an adviser to the 2008 McCain presidential campaign on economic issues."

    Gee, was she behind McCains' "the economy is fundamentally sound" delusion?

    She nearly destroyed HP, as is the Republican way, and was rewarded for it with a plump retirement package.

    More of the same from the GOP...NO THANKS CARLY!

    GOP: Evolve or die..

    November 22, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Keith in Austin

    I can hardly wait to hear the wimpering drivel that is sure to come when you know-it-all liberals wake up and realize that your taxes are going up, Medicare is being cut and Comrade Obozo is coming after YOU to pay for it! Blind pitiful sheep still baming the GOP for everything while Reid,Pelosi and Obozo are robbing you and you children blind for political gains. Your naivety is remarkable! Sooner or later I hope you realize that Government control of your life is not the answer to your woes! YOU ARE! I guess it's easier to go through life expecting entitlements on the backs of others. In the end, the joke will be on YOU for sure!

    November 22, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. worriedmom

    oooo The Libs are out again. You can't stand it when a conservative woman may say something against the Chosen One!! How dare someone be against the almight Libs!
    You guys will be eating your words also when you complain on how high your taxes and how lousy your health care is. Thanks a lot, loons!

    November 22, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    If we had Carly's money, we would probably be wingnuts too. Every one wants to run as a republican so they can get a piece of the health insurance millions going to the GOP.

    November 22, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. T'SAH from Virginia

    What is the problem with the REPUBLICAN'Ts??? Are they getting SCARED now because this bill is going FAR BEYOND it has ever went in the past and it LQQKs like it's going to get pass without them??? Well they should be 'shaking in their boots' because it will get passed without them – one of the GREATEST achievements in all of our history and they will have NO CREDIT for it!!!

    FIORINA is RICH – she has NOTHING to worry about when it comes to health care and its cost!! ALL of the republicans in office have GREAT insurance and could care less also about those who have NONE!!

    NO, 'FARINA' – you will eat your words and others will EAT you too!!

    November 22, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. b franklin

    None of you are paying any attention...just looking for something for free.
    The issue of the mammograms is exactly the kind of thing we will be seeing if this health care bill passes. If a procedure is deemed as too expensive, it will not be used preventatively. Can you say "death panels". The key to health care is preventative care, but that would require actual action by the electorate and if a politician isn't talking about giviung something away, then he/she may not get re-elected.
    This health care argument is happening way too fast. No one has had a real chance to read the legislation and it has the appearance of "whe will figure that out once we get it passed".

    November 22, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. Jeanne

    She's right, this doesn't contain costs. I thought that was the goal. The CBO has said that all insurance will get more expensive with these bills. It also collects money for 3-4 years before anything is spent. So, 10 years of payments only pays for 6-7 years of health care. What happens in years 10-20? Costs will explode, just like they have for all government entitlements.

    November 22, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. www.twitter.com/whybs

    Carly,

    I admired you and rooted for you at HP but supporting McCain/Palin over Obama/Biden? Congrats! You are a true GOP ostrich!

    “I agree with the goals of health care reform" is a good start. From your own experience at HP, you should know that criticizing is much easier than contributing productively, shouldn't you?

    Perhaps I missed it but your plan seems to lack the emphasis for universal coverage! Could you put online your detailed proposal/bill, or you just want to criticize?

    Let's see if you could win against Chuck DeVore. I want to see the GOP put lots of resources behind you/Chuck - so we can suck the life out of the GOP in other mid-term races!

    My prediction... Boxer will win!

    November 22, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Tired

    At least the President is trying to do something for the uninsured and underinsured. Anyone like Ms. Fiorina who has and has always had excellent health benefits as well as an excellent salary has absolutely no idea the devastation serious illness can have. If the naysayers would be willing to REALLY sit down and discuss perhaps a good compromise bill could be enacted. But this cannot happen in the current "no to anything and everything" environment. The hysteria that goes on in Congress and in the media certainly does not help.

    November 22, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. Flex

    How much money is the insurance industry paying you to support them, Fiorina?

    November 22, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. Jon

    Who would want to take advice from the person who almost ran HP into the ground?

    And if she really wants to help slow the rising cost of health care coverage, then she should start backing a single payer system.

    November 22, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Sally

    Fiorina says she is for health care reform, but rails against this proposal. Obviously, she doesn't want reform. Republicans don't mind spending money on wild goose chases in Iraq, but when it comes to helping the American people with rising health costs, they're all against it. I'm so sick of their selfishness and greed!!!!!

    November 22, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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