Boehner: We’ll make sure ObamaCare “never, ever, ever is implemented”

posted at 11:36 am on November 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

How much time will Republicans spend on stopping ObamaCare? “As much as it takes,” John Boehner commits during his one-on-one interview with Fox’s Bret Baier. In this clip from Townhall’s Greg Hengler, Boehner insists that the action is necessary to get the economy moving again after Baier challenges Boehner on his previous criticism that Barack Obama and the Democrats spent too much time on health care while the economy stagnated. Boehner clearly ties his party’s fortunes to repealing or at least stopping ObamaCare and suggests that it will be one of the big issues in the presidential campaign two years from now:

Andrew Malcolm has the transcript:

BAIER: Healthcare — the president says he’s willing to tweak the healthcare law. You say you’re committed to repealing it. There’s a big distance between tweaking and repealing.

BOEHNER: Oh, that’s a very big difference.

BAIER: You’re still committed to repealing it?

BOEHNER: This healthcare bill will ruin the best healthcare system in the world and it will bankrupt our country.

BAIER: So you’ll take a vote on…

BOEHNER: I am convinced…

BAIER: — repealing it?

BOEHNER: We are going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with common sense reforms that will bring down the costs of health insurance.

BAIER: So what do you say to critics who say this vote is really a charade, knowing that a Democratic Senate will either stop it or the president will veto it and that it’s taking time and you could be dealing with something else? Why not try to compromise and — and at least affect it now, the healthcare law, that you can?

BOEHNER: First and foremost, this is about the greatest healthcare system in the world. And secondly, let’s not forget, this is also about jobs. And if you look at all of the requirements on employers, you can understand why they’re not hiring new employees, because we’ve raised the cost of employment.

Beyond repealing Obamacare, we’re going to do everything we can to stop this bill from being implemented, to make sure it never happens. And, frankly, if we’re successful, this will become the No. 1 issue in the presidential election…

BAIER: How…

BOEHNER: — in 2012.

BAIER: How much time are you going to spend on this?

BOEHNER: As much…

BAIER: We’ve spent…

BOEHNER: — as much as it takes.

BAIER: You criticized the president for spending too much time on healthcare. If you spend a lot of time trying to repeal it when it’s not a reality in a Democratic Senate or in a presidential veto, won’t you get criticized for that?

BOEHNER: Well, there’s a lot of tricks up our sleeves in terms of how we can dent this, kick it, slow it down to make sure it never happens. And trust me, I’m going to make sure this healthcare bill never ever, ever is implemented.

BAIER: So are you for preventing insurance companies from denying someone insurance based on pre-existing conditions?

BOEHNER: No. And there are common-sense reforms that we can agree on that will bring down the cost of health insurance.

BAIER: Are you going to start over?

BOEHNER: Start over — that’s where we were a year ago, that’s where we were six months ago. We’ve not changed our position on this at all. We told the president down at the Blair House during the seven-hour Obama infomercial that we ought to stop and start over. And we laid out the eight or nine common-sense ideas we had that would bring down the costs of health insurance.

The coverage mandate will be tricky, though, without a purchase mandate, at least in the present system.  It adds cost and risk to insurers, which will force premiums to escalate, especially if insurers can’t force healthy people to pay for comprehensive policies they don’t need.  The only way to make that work is to end the tax incentives in the employer-based insurance model, encourage people to move to HSAs and hospitalization policies, and in general restore the pricing mechanisms and return insurers to risk management rather than the role of health-care brokers.

Can Boehner deliver that kind of change after a season in which voters got sick of debate over government reordering of the health-care sector?  Let’s hope so.  It won’t go anywhere in the Senate, but it will provide evidence that the GOP is willing to take action to provide real reform to a system that has badly needed it for decades.  And in this case, the government will be reforming itself (the perverse tax incentives set up during WWII) rather than dictating the organization of a private market.


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@rickyricardo,
I share your sentiments – how ever i don’t think it is any good to pounce on Boehner just yet. He KNOWS that if Tea Party enthusiasm diminishes then the GOP is finished. This is not a “second” chance for them – it is more like their last chance.

People are tired and fed up of all the pols who pretended to be conservative and yet spent like drunk sailors.They are pretty desperate for a change – a true change, not the phony baloney NObama cr*p.

Boehner showed a lot of genuine emotion in his speech on Tuesday – here’s hoping that he truly remembers who brought him to the dance. Either he does or he will be made to remember.

nagee76 on November 5, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Oh come on, lighten up. He deserves a chance to be Speaker, and I think my esteemed colleague JetBoy is just being optimistic. Let’s not borrow trouble, k?

fossten on November 5, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Our best chance of survival, of regaining lost liberty, is to hold the Republican establishments feet to the fire and make them dance. As long as we keep them dancing without pushing them over the line of overreach, the more likely we are to survive the trouble that still lies ahead.

FloatingRock on November 5, 2010 at 1:17 PM

If Boehner really has lots of tricks up his sleeve, he shouldn’t tell anyone what they are. Let him and his House colleagues work them out in private meetings, then spring the traps on an unsuspecting Obama, like Pelosi sprung hers on an unsuspecting American people. “Pass it so you find out what’s in it!”

Once Boehner gets the Speaker’s gavel, the next words out of his mouth should be, “Let’s roll!” And he has to mean it!

Steve Z on November 5, 2010 at 1:19 PM

I’m of the opinion that several democrats up in 2012 and 2014 may be rethinking how they would vote on repeal. Can we get 67 votes?

I don’t think we will absolutely need to get 67 votes, unless we go for full repeal right out of the box. It may be possible to get enough Democrats on board to get something through the Senate and package the bill in such a way that it doesn’t absolutely force the President to veto it. Let’s test his self-proclaimed “willingness to work with the GOP”.

Try the “postponement” approach first, with absolute repeal a second option, and the President will have a face-saving fig leaf he can use to approve a bill. Going for full repeal, and forcing the President to veto, might make the GOP look good going into 2012, but it won’t actually help us out here in the country very much. Of course the President will be in trouble with his lefty base, who really don’t care about whether or not ObamaCare does anything it purports to do (bend the cost curve, cover the uninsured etc), since their real goal all along is government control of the economy pure and simple.

MTF on November 5, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Thank you!!! It’s about time someone in politics listened to Americans….

chai on November 5, 2010 at 1:24 PM

What disappointed me about this interview is the “tricks up our sleeves” line. It will be used over and over and over and over and over again by Dems to argue that the GOP is interested only in partisan games.
BuckeyeSam on November 5, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Yep. It also doesn’t help the very cause he is discussing. I don’t remember seeing a magician begin his act by announcing that he has tricks up his sleeve. It also strongly suggests “deception”. Very bad choice of words.

connertown on November 5, 2010 at 1:25 PM

We will hear those words in Dem ads many times in the future.

BuckeyeSam on November 5, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Sam, you are so right. A very poor choice of words. He could just as easily have said he has legislative tools he can use to combat this unconstitutional law. People already have a negative view of politicians and their tricks. I’m irked.

sandspur on November 5, 2010 at 1:31 PM

A lot of healthy people don’t buy insurance, because they don’t think they need it and they don’t want it. Many of them are young and healthy. Why should we force them to buy something they don’t want?

Much of this Obamacare nonsense is driven by the notion that if someone is uninsured and they show up in a hospital ER, ‘we all pay for them’. This is crap. We only end up paying for illegal aliens and the homeless, and only in ERs. Your average uninsured person pays for his medical care out of his pocket, in cash. In paying cash, you can even negotiate lower rates than ‘rack rates’.

The endless whining about the ‘thirty million uninsured’ ignores the fact that about a third to a half of that number simply doesn’t want it, and you can’t force them to do it.

slickwillie2001 on November 5, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Today AARP announced they were raising premiums on their EMPLOYEES by as much as 13%. Seems the cost of medical care is going UP.

Wasn’t ObamaCare going to bend the cost curve down?

GarandFan on November 5, 2010 at 12:47 PM

United Healthcare just raised our premiums 48%! We have a high deductible (by choice to keep costs down)and and HSA. We’d love to have “just” a 13% increase.

Has anyone else out there had their annual benefit meeting and found that their rates are going up in January?

LEBA on November 5, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Can Boehner deliver that kind of change after a season in which voters got sick of debate over government reordering of the health-care sector? Let’s hope so. It won’t go anywhere in the Senate, but it will provide evidence that the GOP is willing to take action to provide real reform to a system that has badly needed it for decades.

The Senate would never approve a complete repeal of ObamaCare, since 53 of the 60 Democrats who voted for it are still there. But if the House votes to de-fund it, and/or restore the funds taken away from Medicare to “pay” for ObamaCare, then the Senate will have to do something about the money–how many Democrat Senators want to be on record for de-funding Medicare when the Republicans argue for maintaining Medicare funding?

Obama himself has already admitted that the 1099 reporting mandates in the bill are “too cumbersome” for small business, and he might sign a repeal of that provision. The Senate, even with 53 Democrats, might go along with striking some of the more onerous parts of ObamaCare, if McConnell can make the case to the 20 Democrats up for reelection in 2012 that NOT striking them will be used against them in the upcoming campaign. With 47 Republicans in the Senate, McConnell would need 13 Democrat votes to gain cloture, which might be possible for some of the provisions most opposed by the electorate.

Boehner might want to repeal the whole thing, but he’s realistic enough to know that it needs to be attacked piecemeal, by rescinding the worst provisions of it first, as viewed by the electorate. Boehner himself said he doesn’t like “comprehensive” bills, and the opposite of comprehensive is “one step at a time”. If he can knock out the financial support for ObamaCare, then Senators concerned about deficit spending may be enticed to cut some of the costs of ObamaCare.

Steve Z on November 5, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Has anyone seen any coverage on the state referendums on Obamacare? I know that the states that put it to vote overwhelmingly defeated Obamacare, but wonder why little, if anything, has been discussed about it.

obladioblada on November 5, 2010 at 12:27 PM

You see no coverage about this because the state-run media, willing servants to the liberal Democrats that they are, don’t want you to think that there is any chance that Obamacare will not be fully and completely implemented in all its glory. The only place that I’ve seen any mention of these referenda is on Fox, although even they haven’t spent lots of time on them.

djm1992 on November 5, 2010 at 2:00 PM

BAIER: You criticized the president for spending too much time on healthcare. If you spend a lot of time trying to repeal it when it’s not a reality in a Democratic Senate or in a presidential veto, won’t you get criticized for that?

Wow, actually some decent interviewing there.

crr6 on November 5, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Why are you surprised by this? Baier works for Fox, not MSNBC…..

djm1992 on November 5, 2010 at 2:03 PM

I would like to address the solution to the federal govt’s encroachment, via Obamacare: 10th= NULLIFICATION.
Notice many state legislatures have turned red.
This is a fine opportunity for the states to nullify the federal govt’s intrusive efforts at grabbing control they are not allowed to have per the Constitution.
This is where we as citizens come in.
Push your local politicians in your state ligislatures to act upon this.
Whether it’s a Resolution, Referendum, etc., the individual state legislatures have a duty to the people to protect their citizens from the federal govt.
And this is why each state is a SOVEREIGN entity.
The states have the right to decide what is & what is not Constitutional.
That is NOT the Federal Judiciary’s job all the time.
Letting the Judiciary branch decide on all matters of whether something is Const or now is akin to letting the fox guard the henhouse.
States: You have a RIGHT & DUTY to NULLIFY.

Badger40 on November 5, 2010 at 2:17 PM

United Healthcare just raised our premiums 48%! We have a high deductible (by choice to keep costs down)and and HSA. We’d love to have “just” a 13% increase.

Has anyone else out there had their annual benefit meeting and found that their rates are going up in January?

LEBA on November 5, 2010 at 1:37 PM

It sounds like you would like a catastrophic-only policy, which is what ‘insurance’ should be. That would lower premiums drastically, but unfortunately state insurance regulation boards and now the federal government as well have mandates that will not allow a stripped-down policy.

If the Republicans do anything, they should allow insurance companies to offer plans without respect to any state or federal mandates. This really could bring down the numbers of uninsured. Little else the democratics have done will do that.

slickwillie2001 on November 5, 2010 at 2:42 PM

slickwillie2001 on November 5, 2010 at 2:42 PM

How ’bout the feds get the heck out of the insurance business altogether & let these companies trade across state lines like other types of insurance companies do?
What a freaking scam this all is.

Badger40 on November 5, 2010 at 2:55 PM

I hope they don’t just repeal Obamacare but also put forth ideas to actually fix some of the worst problems.

I just ran into one of them since my daughter turns 19 on Dec 1st. She’s a full-time ballet student and not employed, which doesn’t count as a full-time student. The “covered until 26″ law helped us out.

Up to 26 is ridiculous, but we need to be able to cover young adults who aren’t students somehow. Up to 21 maybe? My daughter has asthma and her meds are expensive. It may be that even if she’s accepted into studio company, which is considered an apprenticeship, she still wouldn’t have insurance. Not all kids are meant for college.

Common Sense on November 5, 2010 at 4:10 PM

My favorite was when he explained how a temporary freeze on upper income taxes would be a big mistake. He points out that it will only lead to more stagnation and explains that businesses need stability. Then he goes on to say that when he ran his business he would have continue to plan for an increase if he was told the freeze was temporary.

Why doesn’t the left get this? Either raise them or leave them permanently. If you raise them or freeze for two years the left will be screwed in 2012.

LifeTrek on November 5, 2010 at 6:44 PM

I hope they don’t just repeal Obamacare but also put forth ideas to actually fix some of the worst problems.

I just ran into one of them since my daughter turns 19 on Dec 1st. She’s a full-time ballet student and not employed, which doesn’t count as a full-time student. The “covered until 26″ law helped us out.

Up to 26 is ridiculous, but we need to be able to cover young adults who aren’t students somehow. Up to 21 maybe? My daughter has asthma and her meds are expensive. It may be that even if she’s accepted into studio company, which is considered an apprenticeship, she still wouldn’t have insurance. Not all kids are meant for college.

Common Sense on November 5, 2010 at 4:10 PM

There are lots of things we can do that are ‘nice’. That’s how the country went broke. How does your company and your coworkers feel about the additional costs they will have to bear for covering those up to 26, and the other mandates of Obamacare?

Politicians that hand out these freebies that others have to pay for really do seem to think that they are free.

slickwillie2001 on November 5, 2010 at 7:04 PM

Boehner has never taken an earmark. He is a stand up guy.

With him in DC and Kasich now in Ohio I am feeling much more optimistic.

CWforFreedom on November 5, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Honestly if we could return health insurance to being insurance I could actually AFFORD it.

The only Federal Health Regulation/Law I would like would be to require that insurance companies be allowed to compete across state lines and that all hospitals, and other medical care providers be required to post prices in full view.

Then I would be able to do the following:

1.) Buy insurance to cover a trip to the hospital if I say break my leg, get stabbed at work (I work in a restaurant), etc

2.) Doctor-shop to find a nice cheap physician and dentist that I go see once every 6-12 months.

Currently I can’t afford health insurance and don’t want to be forced to purchase it either by taking my tax refunds away or being subsidized by other taxpayers.

SgtSVJones on November 5, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Don’t just be the party of no like they all say we are, keep working on ideas that get us out of this obamacare mess. Something we can afford, that has a heart for the truly unfortunate. We have to remember the younger crowd will out number us in a few years and they are the ones that voted for BO, due to the healthcare.

wi farmgirl on November 5, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Sorry chicks and Jetboy, his dance card is full. We ought to start a fan club here….lol. I’m looking forward to seeing him wrassle Pelosi for that gavel….

Fortunata on November 5, 2010 at 10:37 PM

I can’t wait to see her pass him the gavel in January… It will be a DVR moment!!

If San Fran Nan is still in DC…

Khun Joe on November 6, 2010 at 12:59 AM

I like Boehner a LOT. There is a reason the left, including Obama personally, put so much effort into demonizing him. They’ve tried to paint him as a GOP old money country club snob, which is bizarre, and I know it is because the liberal demographic takes whatever the Media feeds them at face value. But Boehner knows from real work, and he’s not afraid to call a crap sandwich and crap sandwich. I genuinely believe Boehner hears the Tea Party, and hears the people and is committed to getting on track.

Things are about to get VERY colorful around the House lol.

ace tomato on November 6, 2010 at 4:45 AM

also, don’t forget that the irritation with all the health care debate was that it was being pushed when everyone knows the economy is in no shape to support stupid spending.

It’s not that people do not care about health care reform – it IS important, but the big liberal spendathon for entitlement programs was the wrong thing to drag out.

I think people will be happy to see Obamacare scrapped and more tolerant of reforms put forth that don’t entail a bunch of pie-in-the-sky expensive programs with claims they will cut costs.

ace tomato on November 6, 2010 at 4:49 AM

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