July 26th, 2009
11:41 AM ET
13 years ago

McConnell: Public option a nonstarter for Senate Republicans

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The views of the top House Democrat and the top Senate Republican suggest that the Obama administration has a long way to go in achieving its goal of health care reform legislation by the end of 2009.

“I think I can pretty safely say there aren’t any Senate Republicans who think a government plan is a good idea,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

McConnell also suggested that the creation of a public option would destroy private health insurance companies and the competition that currently exists between them.

McConnell’s comments followed an interview by House Speaker by Nancy Pelosi that also aired on State of the Union where the California Democrat said the public option was “an alternative to give much more leverage to the individual.”

McConnell also chided congressional Democrats over their various proposals for financing health care reform.

“They’re having a hard time selling it to their own members,” McConnell told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “The only thing bipartisan about the measures so far is the opposition to them,” the Kentucky Republican added.

But McConnell suggested that the two parties will eventually work together to achieve some sort of consensus on health care reform.

“At some point, they understand that in order to comfort their own members and to have broad support among the American people, it will need to be bipartisan,” said McConnell.

“We’d like to start over with a genuine bipartisan approach,” he added.

On the day that she is set to transfer power, McConnell also weighed in on the future of Alaska’s Republican Gov. Sarah Palin.

“Boy, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Sarah Palin. She excites an awful lot of members of my party. They’re anxious to see what she’s going to do next and so am I.”

Filed under: GOP • Health care • Mitch McConnell • Sarah Palin • State of the Union
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Linda

    Mitch McConnell is what is wrong with this country and the Republican party. Hypocrite! He doesn't give a dam about anybody but himself. The man still doesn't have a clue.

    July 26, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. sensible Cape Coral FL

    I have the PERFECT solution to the Health Care Problem.

    Our tax money pays for the health care of all members of Congress and their families, even after they retire. How about suspending all
    health care for them until they pass a reform bill for all Americans. Let's see how they like it

    July 26, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Ken, Arizona

    Of course a public health plan is a non-starter for the GOP. They're not going to bite the hands that feed them. After all, they gave the Pharmas a hugh gift with the prescription drug bill and now they want to give the insurance industry their gift. The republicans controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House for six years and did nothing to solve our healthcare ptroblems. Let's face it, the GOP could not care less about the average American family and their struggles.

    July 26, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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