This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," June 24, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA")
DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: Do you still expect to get health care by the end of the year?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes.
SAWYER: If you don't, is it over for four years?
OBAMA: We're going to get it done. So, I won't engage in hypotheticals in which we don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: The president says we absolutely need it.
Republican Majority Leader John Boehner not so sure, and he joins us right now.
Very good to have you — House minority leader. I'm sorry, but pre- promoted you. But you never know. You never know.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: I — I do appreciate the promotion.
CAVUTO: Good to have you, Congressman.
Where does this whole thing stand now? And I only ask you in the context of — of this Governor Sanford thing, because you — you know how it goes — that, predictably, people say, well, one of your strongest voices in the party, arguing against spending like crazy — although you're a strong voice yourself — is sidelined for the moment and it's hurting Republicans.
What do you make of all that?
BOEHNER: Well, listen, I — there's no debate between Democrats or Republicans about the need to provide affordable access for health insurance for all Americans.
That — that — we agree on that issue. Where — where we begin to part company is over the fact that they want this big government-run plan that's going to ration care. It's going to raise taxes, and frankly I think decrease the quality of care that Americans get.
BOEHNER: Republicans have a plan that builds on the current system. It's a bottom-up fix of the current system to try to get more people insured. And I think at the end of the day, that's a much better prescription. And unless the president is willing to work in a bipartisan fashion, I don't think we're going to have a health care bill this year.
CAVUTO: But he might not need to.
CAVUTO: I mean, he might not need to. I mean, his view, Congressman, seems to be, and he seems to uphold supporting this view, that a lot of Americans are more on his side than they are on yours, and that they look at your approach as tinkering and his as more substantial.
Now, that's not to say one side or the other is right. I'm just saying that that appears to be the perception and that appears to be the wind at his back.
What do you say?
BOEHNER: Well, I don't agree with that. I have looked at my share of polling as well. Americans know that our system costs too much. And so if our system — health care system costs too much, why do my Democratic colleagues want to spend another $1. 5 trillion to $2 trillion a year more in order for it to work better?
All we're going to do is raise taxes and increase the debt. And I think what Americans want is they want us to find ways that are going to reduce the cost of their health care.
You know, a common sense thing is like lawsuit reform that costs doctors and hospitals billions of dollars in insurance premiums and requires them, or forces them, to do all kinds of unnecessary procedures to try to protect them from the lawsuits. Now, that would be one common sense thing we could do to help lower the cost and use that money to insure more Americans.
CAVUTO: Now, I know you don't try to focus on these polls, but you do read them and you do read the polls that say he's still popular, if not more so. Republicans in Congress are less popular, if not even less so.
Does it trouble you?
BOEHNER: No, it really doesn't, Neil. We've been through two disastrous election cycles. The Republican brand has taken its share of hits. But over the course of the time that I have been the leader, I have tried to focus our members in on standing on principle, standing up for what we believe in, fighting against these policies that have run up all these bailouts, all of this spending, all of this debt.
And at the same time, when we have to oppose the president or our Democratic colleagues in Congress, it's our responsibility to tell the people what our better solution would be. We had a better solution on the stimulus bill that would have created twice as many jobs at half the cost. We've got a better solution on the budget, and a better solution on energy and health care.
And our health care plan really will insure most Americans, make sure they have access to affordable health insurance, or actually do something about bringing the cost of health insurance down. We don't create this big government-run plan.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you, then, with all your hard work — and I'm told by everybody who knows you that you've been working some very, very long days — and then you see...
BOEHNER: In fact, Neil, it's been like standing in front of a machine gun all year.
CAVUTO: Well, I understand that.
BOEHNER: Just think about it — just think about it.
CAVUTO: Then you have — then you have this Governor Sanford thing today, and everyone focuses on that, and you know we in the media are. Do you think that it just — just when you're making some inroad, boom — you know?
BOEHNER: Hey, Neil, you've got to play the hand that you were dealt. And I try to keep my members focused in on the task at hand. We've got to show Americans that we are who we say we are; that we really are fiscal conservatives; that we really do believe that we need a strong national defense; and that we ought to allow freedom to occur in our country.
And so it's about staying focused on our task at hand. That's what we're doing.
BOEHNER: And we're going to continue to do that.
CAVUTO: All right. Be well, Congressman. Always good having you. Thank you very much.
BOEHNER: Nice to see you.
CAVUTO: Majority or minority leader, you're doing fine.
All right, thank you very much.
BOEHNER: Or Speaker.
CAVUTO: There you — ooh. Oh, there you go.
BOEHNER: That would be better.
CAVUTO: That would be better is right.
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