The Best Tool of Heart Surgeons and Legislators: Listening

Posted: May 25, 2010 8:01 AM
Guest blog post by Rep. Charles Boustany, M.D. (La.)

As a heart surgeon for nearly 20 years, listening was the single most important tool available to me.  I learned from the patient what symptoms they experienced, their history and their concerns.  Unfortunately, Congress and the President repeatedly fail to listen to the American people.

Washington Democrats have proven, with their agenda, how out of touch they have become. They have passed the massive new health care law, which the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports will raise health care premiums; a massive stimulus bill, which failed to keep unemployment below 8 percent as promised; and a proposed new energy tax, which would drive up the price at the pump and on your electric bill.

My constituents in Southwest Louisiana tell me they want solutions to the problems we face.  Rising health care and energy costs, higher taxes and more bureaucracy all impact them directly.  Washington needs to listen, and America Speaking Out gives my constituents and you the opportunity to be heard.

So what policies do you want to advocate?  By closely listening to what Americans say, Republicans can outline an agenda to represent the American people.  This is your chance to say what’s important to you, your family and your community., a new online forum, allows you to lend your voice to build a new agenda.

I believe that in order to create good jobs here in America, we need to restore American competitiveness.  Entrepreneurship and ingenuity are critical to putting our American workers back on fair footing.  Ending uncertainty from Washington will help small business owners grow their markets and expand job opportunities.

Americans rightfully expect their government to be accountable and effective.  Too much waste, misguided priorities and failures to accomplish tasks help explain why the American people no longer trust their government.  We need to regain your trust, and the best way to accomplish that is to listen to you.

As a heart surgeon, I learned to listen, so what do you have to say?  Let Congress know through America Speaks Out at

Rep. Charles Boustany represents Louisiana’s Seventh Congressional District.  A member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Boustany delivered the national Republican address on health care following the President last year.