Full Text of Rep. Charles Boustany's Republican Response
La. Congressman delivers GOP response to Obama's health care speech.
Sept. 9, 2009— -- Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany delivered the Republican response to President Obama's speech on health care. Here is the full text of Boustany's rebuttal:
Good evening. I'm Dr. Charles Boustany, and I'm proud to serve the people of Louisiana's Seventh Congressional District. I'm also a heart surgeon with more than 20 years of experience, during which I saw first-hand the need for lowering health care costs.
Republicans are pleased that President Obama came to the Capitol tonight. We agree much needs to be done to lower the cost of health care for all Americans. On that goal, Republicans are ready – and we've been ready – to work with the President for common-sense reforms that our nation can afford.
Afford is an important word. Our country is facing many challenges. The cost of health care is rising. Federal spending is soaring. We're piling huge debt on our children. And families and small businesses are struggling through a jobless recovery, with more than 2.4 million private-sector jobs lost since February.
It's clear the American people want health care reform, but they want their elected leaders to get it right. Most Americans wanted to hear the President tell Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and the rest of Congress that it's time to start over on a common-sense, bipartisan plan focused on lowering the cost of health care while improving quality. That's what I heard over the past several months in talking to thousands of my constituents.
Replacing your family's current health care with government-run health care is not the answer. In fact, it'll make health care much more expensive. That's not just my personal diagnosis as a doctor or a Republican; it's the conclusion of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office – the neutral scorekeeper that determines the cost of major bills.
I read the bill Democrats passed through committee in July. It creates 53 new government bureaucracies, adds hundreds of billions to our national debt, and raises taxes on job-creators by $600 billion. And, it cuts Medicare by $500 billion, while doing virtually nothing to make the program better for our seniors.
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