November 22nd, 2009
01:48 PM ET
4 years ago

McConnell: Reid bill 'the wrong direction to go' on reform


Washington (CNN) – A day after his party failed to block debate on a Democratic health care reform bill, the top Republican in the Senate says the country would be better served by a more incremental approach to reforming the health care system.

“We feel that we ought to go step-by-step,” Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

McConnell added that Republicans don’t think trying to enact comprehensive, systemic changes to the health care system is a good idea in tough economic times.

“[The Reid] bill is a job killer,” the Senate Minority Leader also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

McConnell added that small business owners are not likely, in his view, to hire new employees in an environment of higher taxes imposed by Democratic health care reform plans and the expiration in 2011 of tax cuts passed early during the previous administration.

“The costs of adding additional employees will be greatly exacerbated by the steps [Democrats are] taking. This is the wrong direction to go,” McConnell also told King.

Notwithstanding the unity Democrats showed on Saturday night in getting the Reid bill to the floor for debate, McConnell suggested Sunday that the Democratic caucus could fracture under pressure from voters.

“If the majority is hell-bent on ignoring the wishes of the American people, they have 60 votes in the Senate. You would think that they might be able to do this, but I believe there are a number of Democratic senators who do care what the American people think and are not interested in this sort of arrogant approach that everybody - sort of shut up and sit down, get out of the way, we know what's best for you.

“Now, we're hearing from the American people, they don't want us to pass it. So I would - you know, it's hard to handicap the ultimate outcome, whether the majority will ignore the American people or not, but they'll be heard. The American people will be heard. They'll either be heard sooner or they'll be heard later.”

soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Death Panel Sarah

    He's worried about the tax cuts expiring? We all know who those cuts were for!!!!
    We know who he is siding with....the rich and big business.

    November 22, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. Disgusted

    The Republicans make me sick. How about not starting endless, useless wars? End the Bush wars and use the money to help the American people .

    November 22, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. charlie in Maine

    Hey Mitch is this new math or what. If 75% of the people are for this hwo can you say the "majority " is against it? Unless you mean the majority of money is against it. That may be true so the question for the tea-partiers is:

    If it is about the money where were you when George W thought it would be a great idea to spend 12 million dollars an hour occupying a country that never attacked us?

    I get why the health insurance companies are against Obamacare. After all wouldn't Federal Express or UPS do better if they could get rid of the Post Office and they could charge whatever they wanted to send a package.

    I get why the GOP leadership is against it considering how long they were out of power after they failed to stop Social Security or Medicare. But what I can't believe that any regular person would be against this.

    So who is paying you guys. The GOP leadership the insurance companies or both?

    Patriots??? Thomas Jefferson is rolling over in his grave at the likes of you.

    November 22, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Ellid

    McConnell seems to think that "incremental" means "never." Polls consistently show that Americans want and need health care reform now. McConnell needs to stop dragging his feet and actually work with the Democrats instead of sulking that his party lost.

    November 22, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Death Panel Sarah

    But his argument is moot, since the majority of Americans DO want this healthcare bill to pass!!!

    He is living in a 'con' dreamworld!!!

    November 22, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Max Wendroff

    This man has no commonsense. He’s rich and cannot communicate with the middle class. He has insurance and has little concern about the others who can’t afford it.
    This man is a perfect example why you should not vote for Republicans.
    The Republicans are about the Republicans with little regard about the rest of the country.

    November 22, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. cocopial

    What a hypocrit! Eaigh years of Bush and no health care bill. He talks about the deficit but Clinton left a surplus. Bush squandered tax payers money in Iraq, no complains my this lunatic. Now he and his Republicans cronies does not even want a debate on health care reform. What better place to ague on this issue? The American people have a right to hear these aguements. He is old and out of touch. He also live in a state that is less populated. Go figure!

    November 22, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Sam

    Senator McConnell, do the majority of Americans a big favor by shutting your piehole, getting out of the way, and allowing the Senate to pass meaningful health care reform. Stop with the lies and scare tactics. None of the dire things you predict will occur if this bill if passed will happen and you know it. We want health care reform and so far all you and your party have done is obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. You have no backbone because you and your ilk are bought and paid for by the insurance industry. You and your party are a disgrace to the working people of America and all you really care about is preserving the status quo so you can continue to suckle at the teat of big insurance.

    November 22, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. Fitz in Texas

    For the Democrats this is the right direction. It's all about power and control for the Democrats and destroying this country.

    Our family has a total of 11 doctors we see. I called everyone of them the other day and not one of them is for this reform. Not one. And according to a poll the other day 80% of doctors are against this healthcare bill. But, once again, Obama, Reid and Pelosi don't care....it's all about power and control for them.

    November 22, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Apparently it was for the Republicans the right direction to go to spend billions on a war in Iraq because it was the religious thing to do, but now it's the wrong direction to go to spend money on Americans for healthcare. Where's the Republicans religion on this one?

    November 22, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. cocopial

    What a hypocrit! Eight years of Bush and no health care bill. He talks about the deficit but Clinton left a surplus. Bush squandered tax payers money in Iraq, no complains my this lunatic. Now he and his Republicans cronies do not even want a debate on health care reform. What better place to ague on this issue? The American people have a right to hear these aguements. He is old and out of touch. He also live in a state that is less populated. Go figure!

    November 22, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. you lie to win

    You are a republican. You hate the everyday person and only vote for things that make the corporatocracy stronger. You have no plan for the regular American. You only care about keeping power in the hands of the few. You lie to get what you want. You are a Republican through and through.

    November 22, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Unsympathetic

    A Republican doesn't have a plan? I'm shocked!

    November 22, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. annie s

    Bull. I'm an American and a small business owner , and I want this bill passed! I'm sick and tired of obstructionist Republicans claiming to speak for me. They don't. They are liars and Neanderthals and their ideas – whether for health care or for the economy in general – always seem to come down to making the rich richer at the expense of the rest of us.

    November 22, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Love Thy Neighbor

    It's simple, ...

    Q.) Why did the GOP NOT act on this over the past few [8] years?

    A.) Because they were too busy kissing the feet of Bush/Chaney.

    November 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. HAWK IN TEXAS

    McConnell is a liar, just a flat out liar. but that is what the republicans do the best fear tactics and lies. McConnell we are wise to the ways of your party. hopefully we can rid congress of your kind in 2010.

    November 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. W l Jones

    Well! well he should been born in the thirties during the great depressing where poor people had to collect penny all over town just to see a doctor due to the fact they only took cash up front. Look like another conservative is over the ledge when it come to average health care for the general population.

    November 22, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Houston Mom

    Mitch McConnell....a man of little or no consequence. An obstructionist. He will always follow the Republican philosophy on the impoverished and un-insured...."Let them die in the streets if they can't afford it, I've already got mine."

    November 22, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Luvinia Knight

    Which Americans are you hearing from? Perhaps those most hate filled and willing to scream the loudest. How about also listening to the still small voices of the uninsured, those going bankrupt due to high insurance and medical costs.

    November 22, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    McConnell is a lying piece of crap. At every juncture, he made it clear, the republicans would not support any health reform. How can he equate hearing from the health insurance industry with hearing from the American people? What an arrogant schmuck he is.

    November 22, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. John

    No senator, the wrong way to go is the Republican way. We tried it for a number of years and look where it got us. The last thing this country needs right now is more of the same ol' Republican governance.

    Why is it that the Republicans don't remember George W Bush and the trouble we have now thanks to him? The Republicans should be reminded of that every hour on the hour until they are gone. Of course that would mean the media in this country would have to do its job and we know that will never happen..

    November 22, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. bulgakov

    Why do these guys insist that they are doing what the "American people" want? Every poll shows that statement to be a lie.

    November 22, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. GOPBslapper

    In other words, McConnel thinks you (American public) are stupid enough to believe the Drug and Insurance companies are your friends and everyone else is lying to you. No wonder with all that is going wrong in the United States at this time, the GOP still can't make any headway, apparently the public isn't quite as Dumb as Republicans are saying.

    November 22, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. What????

    What is Mcconell's plan? He and his party had 8 years to do something about health care, anything and what did they do? NOTHING as usual. Unless he and his party have something to bring to the table, I say move on without them.

    November 22, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    The republicans also refused to reform health care in the best of economic times. According to republicans, there has no good time to reform health care during the last 90 years. Republican obstructionists represent the biggest welfare fraud on capitol hill, since we have to pay their salaries and health care, and they want no part of debate or doing their job.

    November 22, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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