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. Masudi

    For all those concerned about the health care bill costing too much or adding to national debt, i ask do you think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan lower our national debt?

    If you can inteligently answer the above question, then i ask do you rather lose troops in wars we can't win (but we rather act as NeoCons to save face) and add trillions in national debts supporting these wars or should we rather add JUST 1 Trillion to our debt and have most americans covered and improve on our health as a country.

    Why is it that when we talk about killing people abroad that we don't talk about national debt but when people are dying here at home for lack of healthcare then national debt becomes a concern?

    Come on people, lets help americans who pay taxes in amerca have an assured health coverage. I rather pay more taxes to support health care than paying more to support a war. Well wait i forgot during the last eight years we supported a war with no taxes but emptied our treasury instead. THAT IS THE REPUBLICANS AND CONSERVATIVES WAY.

    November 22, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. A concern citizen

    Please Carly Fiorina you and the other special interest are the same.

    November 22, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. Cnn please post my comment! 1 love!

    Instead of hoping Obama eats his words why dont you offer a more viaBle and acceptable option to the American People??? I guess with Republicans its just easy to throw stones!

    November 22, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  4. Independant Vet

    Before another years end , a lot of those who blazed away at Bush , will be wishing he were back As it is going down hill every tick of the clock . Who would want the job of even trying to getting this back on the track , as is the Democrats are burying there Cash , Burying us in Debt Latest going to tell us when to die ,an installing derails all along the way . For what is left of the working people.

    November 22, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. rose

    Oh, I wish we didn't have to listen to that voice for a year.

    November 22, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  6. Jim

    A couple of points:

    First, it's not a personal attack to say she ran HP into it's worst economic state in the company's history. That's a fact. Second, panel recommendations exist today in Insurance Coverage. It's why people are denied ER coverage even if their insurance says it's covered. It's why expensive but life-saving procedures are routinely denied. It's why an otherwise healthy person like myself, who has been diabetic since the age of 2, can be denied health coverage, as has happened to me, when they go work for a small company. That's the current situation.

    The real issue here is the lies and mis-direction the Conservatives are using to stir public opinion against the bill. And Ms. Fiorina doesn't have the IQ (That IS a personal attack) to understand the bill. She doesn't have the understanding of the middle class' situation. And she never will. She was a trust-fund baby, is now far wealthier, for doing a very poor job running what was, at one time, one of the best technology companies on the planet. You really want her sitting on "the board" of the US? That's what the US Senate has become, the Board of Directors of Corporate America.

    November 22, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  7. TSRVT

    Carly's a very dim bulb, much like caribou Barbie. Ignore the stupid morons and with any luck they will fade away.

    November 22, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  8. HarryB

    Your children thank you for saddling America with a deficit far greater than the war.........

    WERE YOU PROTESTING WHEN W TURNED A BUDGET SURPLUS INTO AN INSURMOUNTABLE DEBT Y LYING TO START THE WAR IN IRAQ?
    I DIDN'T THINK SO.

    November 22, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. indy

    I think the notion that this bill as it stands is "deficit neutral" is a farce. Moving money from one program (medicare) to another (public option) doesn't erase the need for the medicare money. What happens when the rich aren't rich any more and there's no one left to tax. Oh wait, that's where the middle class comes in. The salary they look at will just keep dropping. Or if more people are out of work, we'll just open medicare for them. This bill has it all wrong!

    November 22, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  10. terry,va

    Obummie has no problem with saying one thing and doing another. How can you tell when he is lying? Answer...when his mouth is moving.

    November 22, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. Gus

    Isn't Firona the ex-CEO that got tossed for poor decisions.......... the female Bush II.

    November 22, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  12. Shawn Williams

    How about this? You quit paying attention to these people and quit giving them fuel, and you get off your bottoms and help. Complaining doesn't solve anything. Our overeating, laziness and apathy are the reason why the drug companies are able to milk us for everything we got. And our apathy is the reason why nothing has changed. And this lady is irrelevent, just like Rush, Rove, Michael Moore, and Carville. We have the power, not them. Lets use it and stop whining.

    November 22, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  13. moosehead

    Shut up Fiorina,.. what the hell do you know? You've been a disaster and utter failure, in everything you've tackled.

    November 22, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. mario mtl ca

    Never trust a gop any more

    November 22, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    why does the google link that leads to this story make it appear as if it Boxer that's saying obama would eat his word?!! Pathetic for cnn to do this just for the sake of drawing reader traffic. Very sick..and unfairt to Boxer

    November 22, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  16. Jason

    This is the problem with you Dems., you have no conception of how the economy works and how healthcare would have an adverse effect.

    Florina is right and the $849 billion cost is a significantly low ball number, it's probably going to be at least a trillion that will be tacked on to our deficit.

    It's unbelievable the sense of entitlement you dems. have....you think someone else should pay for your healthcare....how about get a job? Oh wait there aren't any jobs out there; unemployment is at 10.2% and climbing. Yet another promise of Obama's as he claimed his stimulus would prevent unemployment from reaching above 8%. And what about those 3.5 million new jobs? Not even close and most the ones created weren't even real!

    And don't even try to blame Bush anymore...He's been out of of office for almost a year now. And the economic downturn took place his last 2 years in office when we had a democratic controlled congress.

    Yes, healthcare should be reformed but only among private insurers(tort reform, lower premiums, preexisting conditions, etc..) and not on the taxpayer's dime through a public option.

    November 22, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  17. fishy fish

    Hey John King, you did you are doing such a good job that on today's show, Fiorina ( when she thought she was off-mic) told you that you were doing a fantastic job for your party, the Republican party. Keep it up John! I know you probably won't post this.

    November 22, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  18. Ryan

    Nevermind the simple fact that a non-partisan committee has shown 8 ways from Sunday that while the price tag is huge, it will pay for itself and our deficit down over and after 10 years.

    Look at all the money people AREN'T spending on healthcare because it's not remotely affordable!!

    Hello!!

    November 22, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Do you really think that Barbara Boxer understands the "average person's" dilema? She's as wealthy as the rest of them!

    November 22, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  20. Amy Hass

    I respect Carly Fiorina – and Meg Whitman even more – 2010 will be the year of the Republican woman!

    We support Whitman and Fiorina!

    November 22, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  21. John, Sacramento

    CBO says that the Senate Bill will reduce the deficit by 130 billion over 10 years, but of course Fiorina knows more than the CBO. Is her superior knowledge the reason she was shown the door at Hewlett Packard? Obama said that the bill would not increase the deficit and it sounds like he is right......ONe thing for sure is that if HCR is not passed more and more employers will reduce and eliminate health insurance until literally no one will be covered any longer. The 25% increase, year after year, will force employers to stop covering anyone. INterested to see how the GOP will be able to sell "no insurance coverage by business" to their constituents.....It may take people a while, but sooner or later they will see that the GOP doesn't care about the average American worker or small business.

    November 22, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. Aviate

    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!
    --

    I suppose if she hadn't trashed HP and walked away with a multi-million dollar golden parachute, she might have a wee bit more credibility. Apparently that matters not a whit to some people. Who needs facts and evidence? As long as someone is slamming Obama, they'll have an audience. Maybe Carly can hop on the Palin book tour and you can get to see them both!

    Remind me again how great health care in this country is? We rank what, 37th in the world, spending the most but getting poor results? But keep believing everything is wonderful, because that's what the good folks at FOX News keep telling you.

    November 22, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  23. I believe

    Its just amazing how SELFISH THESE REPUBLICONS ARE. YES REPUBLICONSSSSSS. They are not about helping the American People, No matter how great is it to have health reform.. They will lie and lie and lie to make it so the President fail . Yes, I strongly believe ALL REPUBLICONS WANTS THE PRESIDENT TO FAIL AT EVERYTHING HE ATTEMPT TO DO TO BETTER THE UNITED STATES

    November 22, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Pkm thank god the gov of calif is leaving he put calif in so much dept if the gov and floriea were together runing the state of calif all the poor people would be liveing on the street

    November 22, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  25. Indy

    I can't believe how stupid and mindless people in this country are, I really can't. They think this is a game , rooting for one side or another not even realizing how incredibly stupid they are and what they dont know. Post #18 is a perfect example T' rash is it? whatever your name was you are exactly what's wrong with this country!

    November 23, 2009 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
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