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Eric Cantor Wants to Start Over On Health Care

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Rep. Cantor wouldn’t call the birthers and others questioning Obama’s citizenship as engaging in “crazy talk,” as David Gregory urged, but he did manage to laugh nervously like a little girl before replying. It’s really unseemly when a supposed “leader” won’t take to task his own lunatic fringe, because it makes him look weak and scared of them. But I guess since Rush Limbaugh is now leading the birther “crazy talk” Cantor can’t afford to take on the big man, because he can’t win.

The more Eric Cantor talks about health care the less sense he makes.

David Gregory easily took him down.

MR. GREGORY: All right, let, let’s, let’s move on to health care because House Republicans did repeal the president’s healthcare reform plan, but the real question is what Republicans are prepared to replace it with and whether you have a serious plan. Major Garrett in the National Journal reports this week the following about the speaker’s plan, Speaker Boehner: “The Boehner plan, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would add just three million Americans to the insurance rolls, leaving about 50 million still without coverage through 2019. CBO said that the proposal would reduce costs in the group-insurance market, which constitutes nearly 80 percent of private-sector premiums, by less than 3 percent. `If it’s all they do, it is not a serious effort,’ Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former CBO director and chief policy adviser for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said of the Boehner alternative. `You can’t just do that.’”

The truth is, Republicans do not have a serious alternative to covering more Americans, do they?

REP. CANTOR: I disagree with that, obviously, David. First of all, you know, we believe you can do better in health care. I mean, we want to try and address the situation so more folks can have coverage, can, can have the kind of care that they want.

MR. GREGORY: But that’s not what the Boehner plan does.

REP. CANTOR: Well, the…

MR. GREGORY: It’s not more folks being covered.

REP. CANTOR: Well, the–if you recall last session, we Republicans were given one shot; we didn’t have any open debate for both sides at all on the healthcare bill the way it was jammed through. The Boehner plan is just a starting point. You know, what we said when we went and voted to repeal Obamacare last week in Congress, what we said is we want our committees to begin a process of deliberations from both sides, open, honest debates, so the people can understand everything that’s being discussed. And we’re going to focus on patient-controlled health care. We’re going to focus on, first and foremost, bringing down costs and adding to people’s choices and flexibility.

MR. GREGORY: But, Leader, you’re talking about bringing down costs. If you were serious about this, why not negotiate with Democrats in areas where you could deliver Republican votes? There are currently efficiencies in the Obama healthcare bill that deal with penalties for hospitals if there are recurrent infections. There are efficiencies that do address cost, and they certainly address getting more people covered than any Republican plan you’re suggesting.

REP. CANTOR: David, the problem is if we’re all really desirous of trying to deal with people who are in need and want to improve the healthcare future for this country, you, you can’t start with a Washington-controlled system. That’s the structure of Obamacare. It’s broad, sweeping federal mandates imposing the kind of health care that people should have instead of allowing people to choose for themselves and allow for the flexibility and choice. That’s why we’re going to have an open process, invite the other side in to have debates. We have committed, in the Pledge to America, that we are going to finally see the institution work. Speaker Boehner’s always said that, that we’re going to actually have committees do their work, we’re going to have work on the floor. We’re not going to see an instance where you’re going to jam through a healthcare bill the way that Speaker Pelosi did.

MR. GREGORY: Right. Although isn’t that what you just did on the repeal?

REP. CANTOR: We, we–no. We pledged…

MR. GREGORY: How is that different than what you say the Democrats did?

REP. CANTOR: Because it was, it was a page and a half bill, David. It was a page…

MR. GREGORY: Yeah. Seven hours of debates. So there wasn’t, wasn’t a lot of room for a lot of negotiation.

…and if you think this is bad you ought to hear Mr. Cantor on Social Security.

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