Nathan Stubbs

Can Boustany find the 20 percent solution?

by Nathan Stubbs

Both President Obama and Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany, who recently gave the Republican response to Obama's health care address to Congress, have said that Democrats and Republicans agree on about "80 percent" of needed reforms to the country's health care system. Finding out how deep the divisions run in that remaining 20 percent will be an interesting exercise, but one which Boustany plans to engage in soon with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

On Tuesday, Hoyer called for a sit-down with both Boustany and Minority Whip Eric Cantor R, Va., citing Boustany's "80 percent" comment. The Hill reported Hoyer saying, "I want to find out what that 80 percent is," said Hoyer. "Because if we have 80 percent, we ought to work very hard on that remaining 20 percent."

Boustany's office says they are still working to schedule the meeting, but the congressman has issued the following statement regarding the issue:
As a heart surgeon with close to 20 years experience, I've seen the problems with rising health care costs firsthand, and Republicans, Democrats and Independents agree on many significant reforms that would lower health care costs for Americans. I appreciate the Majority Leader's desire to talk about the broad solutions I outlined following the President's remarks to Congress week before last, and I look forward to meeting with him soon to discuss patient-centered alternatives to H.R. 3200.