John Kline presents GOP position on health care at President Obama's summit


As we told you yesterday, GOP Rep. John Kline of Minnesota got a seat at the table for President Barack Obama's health care negotiations. Here's some of what he said. As you can see from the transcript below, Obama didn't address Kline's points directly -- the congressman was one of a number of Republicans called on to address specific talking points. Nor did Kline lambaste Obama as a socialist. So there's that. Also, in the interests of fairness, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's closing remarks are also on video, below.

Here's the transcript, via Huffington Post.

CONGRESSMAN BOEHNER: Well, Mr. President, I'd like to yield to Mr. Kline from Minnesota, who will talk about the small business health plans in terms of how we would propose to do this.

CONGRESSMAN KLINE: Thank you, Leader. Thank you, Mr. President. I think that Senator Alexander framed our overall position very well when he said that we're looking at thousands of pages of legislation and we believe a better approach is to go step by step to address these issues of cost. We certainly agree that you get better economies of scale if you can come together.

We have proposed in both the House and the Senate in fact for a number of years that small businesses be able to band together in small business health plans or association health plans.

We all know, and I've heard everybody say here, that small businesses are the engine that drives our economy. We also know that about half of the uninsured either work for small businesses or depend upon somebody who does. And so we believe that we ought to address that issue by allowing these small businesses to band together in the same way that I think, Mr. President, you mentioned, large companies do -- I mean, really the same way -- so that they get all the advantages of, if they self-insure, being able to avoid the 50 state mandates; being able to lower their administrative costs because they're not having to deal with that.

And it will lower the cost of premiums for these small businesses and allow them to insure more people, and to keep people that are already insured on the books, because we all know -- we all know stories like we've heard here of small businesses that are saying, I can no longer provide insurance for my employees. Small businesses have been asking for this for years. It's not a new idea. They've been asking for it for years. And we think it's a far better way to get these economies of scale than the exchange thing that's in the huge -- that's in the huge bill, that this will actually allow businesses to be able to lower their cost exactly the same way that large businesses do.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay. Max is going to go, and then I'll go to you, Rob.

Here's Pelosi's closing remarks. Also, the White House has posted video clips from the entire session here.