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. FALSE NEWS...not really the news .. just propaganda from hate mongers to the no brainers

    What does Carly know? I mean, seriously....

    November 22, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  2. tarheel

    The whole Health Care Bill, nearly 20% of our nations economy, will be decided by 3 to 4 moderate Democrats. You can remove the Republicans from the debate. They will all vote no. You can remove the Liberal Democrats. They are all for it. How could they not love a trillion dollar entitlement program? That will leave 4 little moderate Democrats who will in the end probably be bought off enough to go along with the Liberal Democrats, even though it may cost them their job. We need to hurry and get this out of the way so we can legalize the 15 million illegal immigrants before the 2010 elections and the Republicans get back in power or at least maybe get strong enough to help stop some of this insanity.

    November 22, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. joel palmer

    Nobody, absolutely nobody, cares a whit what Carly Fiorina thinks about anything. She is a failed CEO with a huge golden parachute and a sense of entitlement bigger than Schwarzenegger's massive ego.

    She will lose big time to Boxer and then fade away

    November 22, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. joel palmer

    Fiorina: "“First, the decisions about care should rest between a patient and their doctor, the people who know the science. "

    Except, of course, in the case of abortion, when the gop knows best

    November 22, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. Dale

    GOP STRATEGY: "We know we aren't as smart as he is and what he's doing is working, so make sure we through as much bull against the wall as we can and God willing something will stick."

    Take a hint, we aren't listening anymore..

    November 22, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. Dr Matrix

    Of course health care costs are going up. They've gone up 130% in 10 years. And we're getting less for more. Only an idiot would think costs aren't going to rise. The question is how do we make health care affordable for everyone. It is not by letting the insurance companies and lawyers take charge, we have seen what they have done already. It's time for these peckersnots we elected to start working and quit fighting and procrastinating. My reps ar Kyl, Shadegg and McCain, they all suck.

    November 22, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. FALSE NEWS...not really the news .. just propaganda from hate mongers to the no brainers

    when you are a rich corporate exec and have nothing better to do with your millions, earned as a result of corporate tax cuts and govt giveaways; you run for public office as a republiklan!

    remember when Carly said john mccain is NOT qualified to run HP as CEO; she got kicked to the back of the "Straight Talk Express" bus! lol – the audacity of a woman who ran HP aground; this woman is clueless...plain and simple!

    November 22, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Pmk arnold has wrecked calif ca i will not even thhnk wha a a super rich gop seantor would do we will all be on welfare pkm

    November 22, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. Mike in Texas

    Fiorna,

    If you don't have anything to add to the issue then please refrain from opening your mouth.

    If the Republican ideas are so good why didn't they bring them to the forefront between Jan 2001 and Jan 2007 when they had control of the White House and Congress.

    Instead we got huge tax cuts for the rich and huge debt for two wars.(one was mis managed and the other was bogus)

    November 22, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Mike in Texas

    President Obama is trying to make lives better for more Americans not just the rich.

    You may disagree, but disagree with facts or valid arguments.

    Don't bring up the same old Fox talking points or resort to name calling.

    Doing this only proves you aren't very up to snuff and aren't very educated.

    Thank you and have a great day.

    November 22, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. Paul

    So, she uses the CBO numbers on public option premiums, but doesn't use their numbers that say the bill lowers the deficit? Talk about cherry picking. And an independent task force becomes a "government bureaucrat in Washington"; Ms. Fiorina's flexible relationship with the truth will certainly help her fit in with her Republican colleagues already in the Senate.

    November 22, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. Obama the Politician's politician

    It cracks me up that Liberals criticize Carly Fiorina's excellent record as CEO of HP. Her replacement has done his best to keep unemployment at record levels but her visionary decisions have turned out to be a blessing for the company. Check them out. She did a fantastic job. Doesn't Obama wish his record as Chief Executive was half as successful.

    November 22, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Debbie from California

    All of this from a woman who:

    1) Has rarely exercised her civic duty to vote in elections. It is an unforgivable issue for those of us in California.

    2) Sent thousands of California HP jobs to India.

    Failed Fiorina is a no vote in California

    November 22, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Tia in PA

    Is this the same woman that was speaking for McCain and said the wrong thing about McCain not be able to run a corporate company and then when didn't here from her again during the campaign.

    Saying negative things shouldn't get anyone anywhere. Ideas in the positive direction is what should be listened to. What will anyone in the republican party do but keep the rich rich.

    Republicans "will pay for wars over and over, but we will not help the people on our on soil pay for healthcare" Yes, they care for the people of our country so much.

    Between helping the insurance companies stay rich and just opposing everything the current administration is trying to do, where does the love for the American people (less fortunate peope) come in?

    November 22, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. normajean

    As a cancer survivor I agree with FIORINAS \point on the latest cancer treatment news. As to her take on our president and the health plan, she is way out of line.She can also give more thought to replacing Sen. Barbara Boxer in California because it isn't going to happen. We in California are taking a dim view of Republicans .As in other states, the Republicans have asked for and will get, opposition like they've never seen before.

    November 22, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Fitz in Texas

    Boxer is history!

    November 22, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. Just Me

    I wish I was in this woman's district so I can vote against her. Fiorina is on the wrong side of history.

    November 22, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  18. John Chow

    Carlie SCREWED COMPAQ & HP a decade ago...Merger was NOT a Success story. Compaq, a Leader in Intel, Non-Stop Server business never emulated into HP. He business calculations are good as anyone on the street (crap shot)

    November 22, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  19. Adalbert

    What do we expect from a wealthy republican?

    November 22, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. Fed Up

    Wait a minute. Are you saying Obama would lie? Oh, that's right. He's a politician. Nuff said!

    November 22, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. Aspen Professor

    What else would we expect from a Repub? They are the most blantant lying, hypocritical, negative group of NO Party idiots this country has ever seen or heard from.

    November 22, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  22. Linda

    You people need to look up the definition of the word lying. Lying is when you knowing don't tell the truth. President Obama has not lied about anything.

    November 22, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. Donna

    This is NOT health care reform. The health care in the United States does not need reforming. We have awesome health care. It is the insurance industry that needs reforming. And this is why the hoop-la is so frantic. There are many people who will not be able to collect their huge cash windfalls if a plan to reform health insurance is put into place. Unfortunately, many of these people support the political party who is squawking the loudest. Wonder why?????

    November 22, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. Jim

    Why is that the news media keeps letting Republicans say anything they want during the health care debate without contradiction? Ms. Fiorina says that this bills adds to the deficit. The CBO says it actually will cut the deficit. She is worried about government bureaucrats being between us and our doctor but says nothing of the nameless, faceless insurance company bureaucrats. At least we get to vote for our government.

    November 22, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. Enough

    I don't think I can take much more of the Republican's. They have absolutely NO solutions even though they've had eight years with Bush to resolve everything that they claim is wrong now. Since they screwed up the economy, world opinion, and just about everything they touched why don't they just shut their mouths.

    November 22, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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