Boehner: Health Care Bill ‘Not Quite As Dead as I Want It’

By Matt Cover | January 21, 2010 | 3:49 PM EST

( - Two days after Republican Scott Brown changed the dynamics of the health-care debate in Washington by winning a special U.S. Senate election in  Massachusetts while vowing to vote against the Democratic health-care bill in the Senate, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that the version of the bill that passed the House in November was “dead” but “maybe not quite as dead as I want it.”
Boehner indicated that Republicans in the House were not interested in working with Democrats to modify the existing bill, which he called a “monstrosity”—although he insisted Republicans had always been ready to work with President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats to craft a bipartisan bill from scratch.

“This bill is dead--maybe it’s not quite as dead as I want it,” said Boehner, “but until it’s dead and we begin a process to work in a bi-partisan way, Republicans are not going to work off of this monstrosity. There’s just not enough common ground.”
The bill the House Democrats had crafted, Boehner said, was designed to lead eventually to a single-payer system.
“You have to remember, there are over one hundred mandates, commissions, boards, that are created in this health care bill that set up this giant infrastructure to get the government ready for what the liberals really want: a single-payer national health care system,” said Boehner.
“I am opposed to that, and so are my members,” he said.
When a reporter asked Boehner if House Democrats might be able to peel off enough moderate Republicans to pass some modification of their health-care plan, Boehner said he was working to prevent that possibility.
“No!” he said. “Listen, our goal is to stop this monstrosity. We’re working with our members so that we don’t find ourselves in a position where they’re able to pick off a few of our members and to get this bill passed. We need to stop, scrap the bill, and start over in a bi-partisan way. Bi-partisanship starts at the beginning of the process, not at the end.”