Gop Doctors Respond To Health Care Summit: "More Of The Same"
Members of the GOP Doctors Caucus, led by Co-Chairs Congressmen Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and Tim Murphy (R-PA), offered the following comments today about the bipartisan health care summit at the Blair House. The 14 Republican Members of the Doctors Caucus have spent the last year offering medicine-based solutions that Democrats have continually refused to consider.
Co-Chair Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA): "Today's summit just reinforced what we have already known: the United States needs health care reform, but the Democrats refuse to accept any plan but their own. The American people simply do not want a massive government takeover of their health care that cuts Medicare and increases taxes, while allowing bureaucrats to make decisions that affect their health. We need to start over on health care, like 57 percent of Americans want us to do. We could have done that today -- if the President had invited bipartisan leaders there for a real discussion, rather than a recitation of every Democrat idea that has already been rejected by American patients."
Congressman Paul Broun (R-GA): "The health care summit is nothing more than a dog-and-pony show to create the illusion that the President as he is reaching out a hand of bipartisanship to find solutions for the American people. In reality, it's a closed fist that he's showing us. The American people are tired of the gimmicks and partisan politics that Speaker Pelosi and President Obama are offering. It's past time for the Democrat leadership to begin backing the commonsense, market-based solutions that Republicans have offered on behalf of the American people."
Congressman Tom Price (R-GA): "President Obama and other Democrat leaders staged this political theater in an attempt to shift blame for the failure of their quixotic push for a plan Americans simply don't want. The best way to address the problems in our health care system is to start over and focus on patient-centered reforms that have widespread support. There are numerous patient-centered ways to improve access, affordability, quality, and innovation in health care. It's truly sad that Democrats insist on either a government takeover or no reform at all, both against the will of the American people."
Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN): "Although I believe the health care summit that took place today was a step in the right direction towards bipartisanship, I believe this should have happened a year ago with a blank sheet of paper-- before the Majority Democrats completely shut Republicans, moderate Democrats and the American people completely out of the process. As I travel in Tennessee, I repeatedly hear that people want to scrap this flawed health care bill and start over with a step-by-step approach that will lower health care costs, while increasing the quality of care and accessibility. That is not a partisan view; it is the view of the American people and I agree with them. I would like to see health insurance portability, health savings accounts, small business pooling and medical malpractice reform, but whatever is included, the legislation must increase access and lower costs. It cannot reduce existing coverage, nor can it include job-killing mandates. We can accomplish reform quickly if the President leads us away from the House bill and towards common ground."
Congressman Parker Griffith (R-AL): "There is no doubt that our health care system needs to be reformed. Our system faces the dual challenges of high costs and limited access. The President's bill, however, does nothing to offer a solution to our health care reform needs. We should scrap the bill and begin again with common-sense solutions the American people support."
Congressman Michael C. Burgess (R-TX): "The summit was largely lots of talk and really no action -- truly a six-hour photo op, as I anticipated. The truth is, Democrats already know the Republican ideas on health care reform, and Republicans already know what the Democratic Leadership and President Obama would like to see done. And on many of these issues, the two sides strongly disagree. But for the past few months Americans have made it clear that there is no popular support for a proposal that is anything like Senate bill, House bill, or the President's new proposal. If there was, these bills would have been signed into law months ago. There has been talk that at the conclusion of the summit, President Obama and Democratic Leadership will huddle to discuss the way to move forward on their health care reform proposals -- if this is true, today's summit was a wasted opportunity. Instead, we should start over with smaller, but effective, step-by-step reforms that the American people trust and understand. I hope this is what Congress does, and I stand ready to work on meaningful health care reform."
Congressman John Boozman (R-AR): ""If President Obama is serious about working in a bipartisan manner to accomplish meaningful health care reform we must craft a bill from scratch. Making small concessions on unpopular provisions and adjusting the proposals to gain support from the minority on House and Senate bills is not what the American people want."
Congressman John Fleming (R-LA): "Today, the American people have heard the wealth of ideas that have long been promoted by the Republican party. And they have seen the President and the Democrat Leadership insist on pushing a bill that the American people have wholeheartedly rejected. Republicans understand what is at the heart of the health care worries faced by the middle class and support reforms that keep healthcare decisions in the hands of patients and their doctors. We support solutions such as tax deductibility for those buying their own insurance, malpractice reform to drive down costs, insurance portability, removing pre-existing illness exclusions, and creating a more competitive insurance market place by tearing down road blocks to true competition. But today we saw the President side step all of these ideas and pretend that the American people are still willing to accept a government takeover of healthcare."
Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-LA): "A meeting is only as successful as the product it creates. If we now move forward with a bill that lowers costs, we'll look back and call the Summit a milestone. But if the President continues on the same path of more government and higher costs, we'll look back and see an opportunity lost."
Members of the House GOP Doctors Caucus include Congressmen Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Tim Murphy (R-PA), John Boozman (R-AR), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Charles Boustany (R-LA), Paul Broun (R-GA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Fleming (R-LA), Parker Griffith (R-AL), John Linder (R-GA), Ron Paul (R-TX), Tom Price (R-GA), Phil Roe (R-TN), and Mike Simpson (R-ID).