September 9th, 2009
12:36 PM ET
13 years ago

Boustany rebuttal: start with what we 'agree upon'

(CNN) - Republican Rep. Charles Boustany said Wednesday that he plans to concentrate on aspects of health care reform that both parties "agree upon" in his rebuttal to President Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress.

"What we need to recognize is there are a lot of things that we agree upon," Boustany told CNN's Fredericka Whitfield. "Why don't we start there rather than starting with the very contentious approach that's been advocated, and in fact, an approach that is the only thing advocated in health care reform and that's a government plan."

The Louisiana lawmaker, a former cardiac surgeon, said specifically he thinks both parties agree on a need for overall insurance reform and lower costs. He called health care reform a "complex topic" and said "the most important thing to do is to get it right."

Boustany said he has tried to offer his ideas for health care reform to the White House and that he thinks Republicans need to be included in the overall discussions.

"Frankly, there really have not been any discussions between the White House and House Republicans and that's of some concern to me," Boustany said. "I'm quite frustrated to be frank with you. We do have a number of very substantive ideas that we could put forth."

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (110 Responses)

    Lincoln, the great Republican, said it best "You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you cant fool all of the people all of the time". America is waking up , getting ready for 2010 to undo the mistakes of the past 4 years. Liberal Dems will follow their party leaders blindly, as will Conservative Reublicans. It is the Independents that are the real voice of America.

    September 9, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. jules sand-perkins

    The Change far-left Democrats want:
    capitalism to socialism, followed by–as Marx envisioned–a final stage of communism.

    September 9, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. donttreadonme

    The Government option will be taken off the table and everything will work out just fine.

    The Repubs will win big 2010 and 2012.

    Class and race warfare is no way to run a party.

    September 9, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. Dems for SANITY!!!!

    Issues Republicans have agreed on = 0

    The speech shouldn't take but a few seconds.

    September 9, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    So Dems, how do we balance the books. I've yet to hear one plan that offers how we pay for this without raising taxes or incresing the deficit; both things Obama promised not to do. Show me the money! Anyone? Anyone?

    September 9, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. Matt

    I was a Republican and I can NEVER be one again because I see that they are very divisive and only protect the rich. I know most were poor before they got rich. What are their proposals for the country except Wars! Wars!! Wars!!!

    September 9, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. MD

    Frankly, I think he's done all that was necessary to work in a bipartisan way with the GOP. Time to move on and just get reform done.

    FYI. I work every day and thought I had decent insurance up until 5 minutes ago when a referral clerk at my HMO informed me that the authorization for a cat scan (requested by the nuerologist for possible blockage in some arteries in my head) is "PENDING WITH THE REVIEW BOARD FOR UP TO 15 DAYS, BECAUSE CAT SCANS ARE VERY EXPENSIVE PROCEDURES." Her exact words...

    So if I happen to have a STROKE in the meantime, that won't be expensive??? Guess not, since there's a 50-50 chance I won't make it. So who's in charge of my health care exactly??? Sure doesn't sound like me or my doctors, now does it???

    Good grief people, please wake up...

    September 9, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. rr

    Another republican doctor. What do these doctors know about health care?

    September 9, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Ted Tartaglia

    You cannot have an intelligent conversation with a Repub because most of them are not capable of cognitive thought.

    September 9, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Nsikan Jacob

    I am sue he will not forget to ask President Obama for his birth certificate. This is more important to him than health care reform.

    September 9, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Nagudcm Sugna

    Why would anyone want more goverment control over their life. We founded this country on freedom and were opposed to being controled by government. Wake up everyone. More goverment help means more goverment which means more laws and regulations which means more money out of your pocket which means you own less of your life.

    September 9, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. JS007

    This guy will end up like Jindal. The GOP has had 2 months to put forth some ideas, but all they put forth were lies, fear-mongering and sabotage.

    If the GOP thinks that government should not be doing anything then why are they running for election? To be obstacles to progress? Get out of the way and let the people who want to make a positive difference do the job.

    We have to provide better coverage AND get costs down, and by studying health systems around the world I have come to realize that the BEST way to do that is to have a single-payer system. It is more efficient and more compassionate than the for-profit game we are playing that focuses on making money by denying care.

    September 9, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    A public option does not cut costs, it just adds more people to the existing mess. How does anyone think this is the best we can do? It's really just perpetuating the increasing cost of health care in America. No wonder the AMA loves it. They are on the receiving end of all of that money. Now they just see the government stepping up and saying they will pay for it all. This is insane.

    September 9, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "FACT: A recent poll indicates 80% of Americans want a BI-PARTISAN healthcare reform bill."

    That does NOT mean 80% of the country wants the bill to incorporate ideas from both sides of the fence. Rather, it simply indicates the desire to have the house of clowns start acting like the public's best interests are foremost in their minds rather than their personal political careers.

    "FACT: Obama hasn't invited the GOP to White House talks on healthcare since April – even though GOP leadership has offered to participate."

    Sorry, I'm sure Obama can hear them screaming "death panels" "socialism" "fascism" "abortion" "take over" and "keep your gov't hands off my medicare" just fine from...oh...well, just about every news station on the planet because they all think it's ok to air blatant lies and pretend that it's all he-said-she-said instead of rational argument v. shenanigans.

    September 9, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Jane

    And just what would it be that ya'all agree on? I haven't seen much since the President took office. This from someone who at one time (still?) sided with the birthers!

    For crying out loud, lay your ideas out there & let the public decide if they hold merit. Isuspect there aren't any ideas there.

    September 9, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. JILL

    Republican Boustany has NO INTENTIONS of coming to any terms the Democrats set forth. He's a Republican afterall, and they all know where their bread is buttered....with the insurance industry!

    September 9, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Er, Uh, Change. Uh, Change. Er, Uh, we need change in Health Care. Er, Uh, Uh, Change Er, Uh, Change."

    Two canplay at that, to paraphrase Boustany:

    "socialism yadda yadda free market regulates and fixes itself yackety shmackety trickle-down blah freedom blah hard work and personal responsibility garbledigook illegals and the chinese blah debt blah deficit blah spending blah taxes blah communism blah death panels balh war war war blah be afraid blah blah greatest country on earth yadda yadda TRUST CORPORATE AMERICA"

    You want brass tacks? Here it is: Who do you trust more? The jackholes we elect and get to fire by electing someone else OR the jackholes who hide in their multimillion dollar office palaces who would just as soon let your grandma die so they can get a $30K toilet as feed her dog food for $50 per can and call it Enfamil?

    September 9, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. nanbar

    Another Republican with no ideas. Why should the quality of health care you can get depend on the company you work for? Large companies with a majority of young workers get better rates. Those of you over 40 really want to know why you don't get hired, you are a liability to the company and threaten their health care rates.

    That is how insurance companies ration care and make big profits. They only want to insure people who in all likelihood won't get sick. If an employee or someone in their family gets too sick, they will soon find themselves unemployed. The people who say they don't want to lose their current insurance nee to understand the company can change it, modify it, raise co-pays, or just decide to no longer provide it. There are no guarantees.

    The Republicans want only one thing, to cause problems for the Obama administration and try to increase their paltry numbers in 2010. They care nothing for the American people.

    If Sarah Palin and her death panel lies are all they have, they should be ashamed.

    September 9, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. victim of republican greed

    I am sure that he will use fear tactics, and let people know that a government option is bad. Just like sending a letter to Aaska by using the government option U.S. Post Office which costs 44 cents instead of $15 by using a private delivery system like Fed Ex or USPS.

    September 9, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Not at all Impressed

    The only thing we agree upon is that the democrats and the republicans both suck and it is time for a viable third party to give the public another option!

    September 9, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. Bunksplace

    What did the republicans do about health care reform from 2001-2008 when they controlled the white house and congress. Absolutely nothing! They were too busy starting an ill-conceived war in Iraq; tapping our phone lines and computers in the name of national security; giving tax cuts to the richest people in America; changing bankruptcy laws favoring banks and credit card companies; blowing a federal surplus upon entering office; complicit with blowing cover of a CIA operative; letting 9/11 happen on their watch; approving torture; presiding over the most arrogant and corrupt administration in U.S. history; spatting on the U.S. Constitution; etc; etc; etc. The republican party was disgrace then and they're a disgrace now!

    September 9, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. PK

    "He claims the Republicans have a number of Ideas to put forth WHERE? I havent heard have any of you?"

    Have you read the Whole Foods op-ed? The Safeway op-ed? The Palin op-ed? Today's Washington Times editorial? I could go on forever but the bottom line is: NO, you haven't. You willfully ignore any ideas that conflict with your own and then feel comfortable saying that there just aren't any other ideas out there.

    Hey, maybe all of the ideas in those pieces are awful. At least be honest enough to admit they exist though!

    September 9, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. SHIRLEY "61"

    It doesn't matter what input the GOP may have or pretend to have, it won't make any difference. Tthey hate this president because he is an african american, and they will not support him on anything. Rational and sane dems, repubs (if there are any), and independents should face it, and move on. The president has brought us from the brink of disaster through his swift actions after 8 years of the hateful Greedy Old Party, which ran our country into a ditch. No matter what they say, they are responsible for this mess we have, and we should never forget it. Furthermore, we have had forms of socialism in this country for years, and a lot of good, hardworking people and their families who needed it, have benefited. I personally believe the number of those who do not need help from their government, but take it anyway, is not as great as those who would have us to believe that nobody works in this country except them, is a lie. I have lived a number of years, and know personally of no one other than seniors, who are entitled, receiving government benefits.
    Get serious about what is best for this country, and grow up people!

    September 9, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. victim of republican greed

    Lord B is the perfect right wingnut choice for a rebuttal. He is a republican birther and death panel liar. That is as good as it gets for the GOP.

    September 9, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. herold aubourg/boston/ma

    Palin needs to get a real job and spend her time at a university somewhere. These genre of palinist should not be supported by the media and it was not for the media we would not have Palin today. $25000.00, it is insulting someone intelligence.

    September 9, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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