Boehner: Town halls had 'dramatic' impact on health debate

The impassioned townhall meetings in August had a “dramatic” impact on the healthcare debate in Congress, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Thursday.

Further, the top-ranking House Republican said that because of the uproar across the nation, Congress has a long road ahead before it votes on a healthcare bill.

"It’s pretty clear that the American people are opposed to this big government healthcare system. We’re going to be talking about this issue for weeks and weeks and weeks and maybe even months to come,” he said.

Despite rhetoric from Democrats to the contrary, Boehner contended that if the at-times contentious public meetings with lawmakers had no impact, then the House would have voted on a healthcare bill by now.

Asked whether racism has ignited the fire behind opposition to President Barack Obama's healthcare plan, Boehner responded that race has nothing to do with the widespread disapproval of the administration's proposals.

"The outrage has nothing to do with race but has to do with policies," Boehner said.