Griffin: 100 Days after Sending Him Ideas for Improving Health Care, Only ‘Crickets’ from Obama

Mar 20, 2014 Issues: Health

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after not yet receiving a response to his December 10, 2013, letter to President Obama requesting a meeting to discuss ideas for improving our health care system:

“I do not believe it is too late to get real health care reform right. My Republican colleagues and I want to create an open and innovative health care system that benefits all Americans, expands access, increases choice, and lowers costs. We want to help people without insurance get affordable coverage and protect folks with pre-existing conditions, and we want to do it without a Washington-knows-best takeover that wrecks everyone else’s health care.

“Americans were told Obamacare would do all of this, but it just isn’t working. Every day I hear of more workers and families who are now forced to pay more money for inferior health insurance. Some patients—even some battling cancer—saw their policies taken away because of Obamacare, and now they’re stuck with massive health care bills they can never pay on their own. That’s not fair. Americans were sold a lemon of a law, and they should be able to return it.

“I realize President Obama and his allies in the Senate will never repeal their health care law no matter how badly it fails, but I was glad to hear him twice invite my Republican colleagues and me to bring him specific ideas for improving our health care system. We sent President Obama a letter with nine ideas and asked if he’d meet with us to discuss them, but 100 days later, all we’ve heard is crickets. Instead of working with us to find real solutions, he’s wasted time on fake interviews and political fundraisers while real people with real health care needs are being hurt by his disastrous law.”

Since December 10, 2013, instead of responding to the letter and accepting the request for a meeting, President Obama has:

  • Vacationed in Hawaii for 17 days, playing round after round of golf
  • Hosted the NBA’s Miami Heat at the White House
  • Asked HBO’s CEO for advance copies of the TV shows “True Detective” and “Game of Thrones”
  • Played golf at Oracle billionaire CEO’s private course in California
  • Screened the movie “The Monuments Men” at the White House
  • Vacationed in Key Largo, Florida, playing two rounds of golf at the Ocean Reef Club
  • Hosted 2012-2013 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Champions at the White House
  • Filmed a fake interview with Zach Galifianakis for the website Funny or Die
  • Called in to Ryan Seacrest’s radio show and discussed how he has “been unfairly maligned about my jeans”
  • Unveiled his NCAA bracket picks on ESPN
  • Committed to attending at least 30 high-dollar political fundraisers in the first six months of this year, according to Bloomberg News
  • Said he was going to watch the movie “Cesar Chavez” the weekend of March 22, according to USA Today

On December 3, 2013, President Obama said to opponents of Obamacare, “If you’ve got good ideas, bring them to me….[If] you still think this law is a bad idea then you’ve got to tell us specifically what you’d do differently to cut costs, cover more people, make insurance more secure.”

In his State of the Union address, President Obama said, “I don’t expect to convince my Republican friends on the merits of this law [Obamacare]….So again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, and increase choice – tell America what you’d do differently.”

Rep. Griffin is a cosponsor of The American Health Care Reform Act (H.R. 3121), which would repeal and replace Obamacare.