November 22nd, 2009
04:14 PM ET
5 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. Marc Taylor

    Well, that does it for me.. if Carly Fiorina, the darling that broke Lucent Technologies' back (I was there), the one that took HP to its knees (got that job just as Lucent died), the one that advised McCain's campaign (got that job after getting removed by HP BoD) but claimed that neither McCain or Palin could ever run a real company (she's a little too "proud" of herself, given HER track record)... what was I saying?

    Oh yea, if Carly hates the Dem's health care bill, I love it. Believe me, she is the MOTHER of liars and will do or say whatever she needs toto further herself. She leaves bodie, companies, and now countries in her wake.

    November 22, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. Cowboy Dave

    Its easy for Carly Fiorina to talk about health care. Why should she worry about the fourty thousand people who die each year due to lack of health care coverage? If some fourty million people are not covered its just a statistic to people of her mind set. She probibly does not even know anyone who is without coverage. I guess if you spend your whole life hanging out in corporate board rooms its easy to ignore the "little people."

    November 22, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. Keeth in California

    Now way is California voting for this woman. Her track record as a CEO is pathetic. I wonder how many words she's going eat in the campaigning for Boxer's senate seat? She's a joke.

    November 22, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Sternberg

    Why have the Democrats not mentioned this healthcare crisis for the last 15 years?

    November 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  5. Lando

    Dream on Fiorina....Barbara Boxer is unbeatable...she is for the
    common people...Dream on.......zzzzzzzzzzzz

    November 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Lee

    Defintely, he has put his foot in his mouth so many times before...

    November 22, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Mark

    This country can not afford it no matter what anyway.

    November 22, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. WrongKindofChange

    Obama never eats his words...he just makes up more lies to cover his other ones.

    November 22, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Emma

    It is very difficult to perceive Fiorina as the expert on current serious American issues, including health reform.

    November 22, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Proud member of "Global Zero:

    Why does CNN keep asking rich people what they think? What about asking the rest of the 98% of Americans that get up before the crack of dawn to put in a full hard days work? We work our butts off all day everyday and for what? So people that have everything can deny the rest of us.

    November 22, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. bcassell

    Senate Hopeful is not a Senator yet. An economic advisor to McCain...oh well, nuff said.

    November 22, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. Rob R

    This woman was a total disaster when running anything of consequence. Are we to believe anything she asserts regarding the balance sheet? We are SO tired of the "nameless bureaucrat" bit...what do you think happens now, lady?!? Perhaps you, like the Bushes, are too removed from real life...

    November 22, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. Wanda

    After the 8 years of Bush/Cheney I am not interested in anything a republican has to say. They have lost all credibility with me.

    November 22, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    We have to admit Fiorina isn't a dumb woman even though we may disagree with her. Maybe she can transfer some of her education and brain power to Palin.

    November 22, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. Fio Who?

    Yeah, we really want to hear from a woman who help to lose the campaign for McCain. What a moron. This clown should go crawl back under her rock. Really.

    November 22, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. Terry

    The Democrats aren't for the "little guy." The Democrats, like their Republican pals, are for themselves.

    Just take a peek at the "earmarks" on the so-called Health-Care Reform package and you will see how the votes were gathered in the Senate.

    You "trust nothing that comes from a republican mouthpiece." If you are smart, don't trust anything that comes from any politician.

    November 22, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  17. Gary

    She would have voted?? She didn't vote because she is a nobody.

    November 22, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. Exasperated

    Another well paid, well insured individual pontificating against health care for the poorly paid and underinsured or uninsured. She won't lose her home and everything she owns if she gets ill. Many of us will. The answers in the current bill may need some work but at least work on it! We can't all be rich. Yet we get up and go to work everyday and give value for the money we earn. Get together and put something together that will solve the problem fairly and equitably for all Americans. Stop the bickering and in-fighting and partisan politics. At least give our President credit for trying. But please do not let another wealthy person tell me what is wrong with providing healthcare for the poorer segments of our society.

    November 22, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  19. Wrong

    Worriedmom, the issue is not that a conservative woman speaks out against President Obama. This is America and dissent is allowed. The issue is with the lies that they tell. Isn't speaking the truth a conservative value?

    The issue is that these same conservative women sit silently as other conservatives, spend wildly, lie, cheat and deceive the nation to fatten their pockets. The same conservative women wants their rights and values to be respected, but then call people loons and worse when non conservatives stick up for what they believe.

    November 22, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  20. Dean

    Obama tell a lie......You must be joking.

    November 22, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  21. ft

    I am sure Ms. Fiorino got the best medical care money can buy for her cancer. I hope she has enough compassion to allow everyone to have the same care she got regardless if they can pay for it or not.

    November 22, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. Carnell From The Motor City!

    With Some News Debate Shows (State Of The Union Is A Prime Example.), Find The Most Discredible/Obnoxious/Egotistical People. Listen For Grade-School Ignorant Quotes, Use Them As Soundbites To Propetuate Childish Nonsense. It's The Witches Brew Recipe For Chaos.

    November 22, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  23. rightsaid

    The GOP will do everything possible to MAKE SURE health reform fails. Success would show their entire vapid philosophy is bereft of intelligence.

    November 22, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. juge

    Hey Carly – take the money out of the wars that we have waged in order to have our military complex get rich and spend it for health care reform, seniors, uninsured, pre-existing conditions, mental health, homeless, education and social security. There's the money on a golden plate for all that we need to make our country competitive and healthy, wealthy and wise.

    November 22, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. Peter s

    This lady seems to be intelligent but she still suffers from the Republican dogma "taxes and small government, incremental reforms" brah brah brah!!!. The alliance between the Republicans and small businessses or entrepreneurship is artificial at best. The market continually undermines the institutions of cutural domination. It does this partly through its constant revolutionizing of instituions generally and partly by encouraging a culture of entrepreneurial intiative and as aresult, th alliance must be continually re-invented, all the while pretending that its reinventions simply reinstate an enternal order!. To be sincere all republican arguments are often arbitrary in nature and no one should take them seriously!!

    November 22, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
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