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Louisiana's Boustany to Give GOP Rebuttal

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), a heart surgeon who has been in Congress since 2005, has been tapped by GOP leaders to give the response to President Obama's speech on Wednesday night.

Boustany is a somewhat surprising pick in that he is little-known nationally and not part of the Republican leadership in Congress. But the GOP hopes to lend credibility to their criticisms of Obama's health care proposals by touting the opposition of several of the Republican doctors in Congress, including Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who are hosting a weekly web talk show in which they read questions that are e-mailed to them and take turns answering questions in ways that promote more conservative views on health care.

"Dr. Boustany has been a tireless advocate for reform that lowers health care costs and expands access for the American people at a price our nation can afford," said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio.) " He understands why Washington, as Democrats have proposed, should never get between a doctor and his patient."
Boustany, in a statement, said "as a doctor, I know we must lower costs and improve care."

Boustany is one of 16 physicians in the House and Senate, including 11 Republicans, but there doesn't seem to a unified medical view on the health reform bills, as both the Democratic and Republican doctors have touted their parties' themes on the issue. The American Medical Association has expressed enthusiasm for some of the elements of the Democrat reform effort, but many doctors in the group are opposed.

For Republicans, tapping Boustany not only puts a doctor into the mix, but avoids having to put one of the party's major leaders into the spotlight. Looking for a fresh face after Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress in February, Republicans picked Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose speaking style was mocked so badly some commentators said it threatened his potential White House prospects.

By Post Editor  |  September 8, 2009; 1:18 PM ET
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Should be a short. After all, how long does it take to say "No, no, no?"

Posted by: Bill_on_Maui | September 8, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

2 words. who cares. another republican clown with a bright idea to inject more fear into the conversation?

Posted by: whatdyousay | September 8, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Dang! I was hoping for Jindal again....

Posted by: neko4 | September 8, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping for Paul Broun, a Georgia Congressman who also attended medical school. Broun has the three essentials that a demagogue requires: a narrow mind, a big mouth and an ignorant mob. Republicans, here is your poster boy.

Posted by: KinkyHogmire | September 9, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I was really hopin' for sarah Palin.

She could have her blouse unbuttoned just enough to hold the goobers' interest.

The fact that no one would be able to understand her incoherent babbling would place a distant second to her support for the troops and her desire to help her state by quittin' and callin' for people to quit makin' stuff up.

Or something.

Posted by: dennissuper | September 9, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I see by most of the comments most hate Repulicans. So be it, I am Independent. Careful what you wish for you just might get it and you will probably be the first one's kicking a screeming when your taxes go through the roof. Most of us just want some sanity going forward. We are in debt up to necks, reform is good. Giving Medical care for everyone would be nice if we could afford it. Take a look at the National Debt will you??

Posted by: lawless102 | September 9, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

This guy is a birther who tried to buy a British title a couple of years ago. Why did the GOP pick this nut? Because he's a washed up doctor?

Posted by: patryot | September 9, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Boustany? Another Louisiana dimwit spouting the GOP line? Gad, thought when I shook the red clay of Louisiana from my shoes 55 years ago that I would be free of these pea brained idiots. But two times in a row we get dipstick Louisiana hicks spouting off.

The repugnants have shown their colors, the answer is NO, now they are trying to get the medical practitioners in on the swindle.

Unfortunately for the GOP, the significant majority of medical practitioners favor dumping the insurance industry and going with a fully formed single payer universal health care system. But Baucus, ass that he is, had several of those representing these medical professionals thrown out of the Senate and had then arrested. Funny how that "everyone has a seat at the table" scenario blew by the wayside once the insurance and pharma industry and their shils in Congress got ramped up.

May we live long enough to see our nation free of the GOP for ever. I would like to see six or seven parties in congress. Then we would see collaboration and comity.

Posted by: hhodges1 | September 9, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

How can he rebut a President who he doesn't believe is the President? He should be required to state, unequivocally that Barack Obama is the lawful and duly elected President of the United States before he's stands up and spews his fear, hatred and distortions.

There is no corner of America that isn't worse off after 8 years of Republicans in control. Why does anyone even bother to listen their foaming at the mouth blather!

Posted by: thebobbob | September 9, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

A physician commenting on the presidents proposal should not use inflammatory, nonsubstantiated statements. Hopefully, his physician training taught him the tenets of excellent patient care to always give correct information as substantiated by the evidence, listening and not inflammed by personnel opinion. Not every physician in training gets this prinicipal, case in point. NEVER should this person ever call himself a physician, he is a politician. He denigrated all physicians by attaching this credential to such an inflammatory response. It would be fine if this was Charles Boustany from Louisiana as the GOP response, just do not add the physician component, credential.

Posted by: dphilli | September 9, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

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