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GOP House leaders rip Obamacare, pledge 'patient-driven' system

  • McClatchy Washington Bureau
  • Published Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, at 10:34 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, at 11:40 a.m.

12/3/13 Republican Leadership Press Conference

With 11.3 million people still out of work, it's easy to see that Americans are still struggling to make ends meet in this tough economy. It's not fair that President Obama and his Democratic allies want to add more worries to their plate this holiday season, like higher health care costs and loss of coverage due to Obamacare.

Republicans tried to get out in front on health care Tuesday, hours before President Barack Obama was to launch a new defense of the program at the White House.

House of Representatives Republican leaders ripped the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Caif., urged a "patient-driven health care system, not a government-driven health care system."

So, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was asked at a news conference, what does that mean?

"Well," he said, "When you look at "Obamacare," what you see is a government-centered health care delivery system. That's not what the American people want.

"The American people want to be able to pick their own type of health insurance; they want to be able to pick their own doctor; they want to be able to pick their own hospital. That's what a patient-centered health care system looks like."

Asked if that was likely to come to a vote next year, Boehner said, "We'll see."

The most withering criticism of Obamacare came from Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.

"At this point, one has to ask, what else are they hiding?" he asked. "You know, while the White House wants to claim that healthcare.gov is now working, we know that "Obamacare" is still plagued with problems.

"And every American deserves relief from it. Well, this administration has to finally come clean and explain why and how Americans are impacted by this law. This is not something that is helping Americans. It is harming those people who need help most right now."

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