November 8th, 2009
01:28 PM ET
11 years ago

McDonnell weighs in on health care reform debate, taxes

Washington (CNN) - Fresh off his win last week in Virginia's gubernatorial race, Republican Robert McDonnell wasted no time Sunday taking issue with health care reform, the Democrats' biggest domestic policy item of 2009.

Asked about the public health insurance option contained in the House health care reform bill passed late Saturday night, and about the different variations of the public option that could still be included in the final version of the Senate bill, Virginia's governor-elect said he was not keen on having his state involved in government-provided health insurance.

"[T]he public option does not seem to be something that is going to help us in Virginia," McDonnell said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.

"However they structure it," McDonell also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, "if it gives flexibility to states, I think that's a good thing." He added that he was "very concerned about turning this signifcant section of the American economy over to the federal government."

McDonnell also stood by his campaign promise not to raise taxes in his state.

"I think that's the worst thing you do in a recession is to raise taxes on - on the citizens. We're going to have hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes at the federal level with this health care bill. When the tax cuts [passed under former Pres. George W. Bush] expire in 2011, it's going to be a crushing increase in new taxes."

"People want a better bang for their buck out of their government," McDonnell also told King, "and [they] don't want to have a tax increase every time we have an economic downturn."

Updated: 1:28 p.m.

Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Economy • Health care • State of the Union • Virginia
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Jon

    I am a Virginian and hope that our new Governor will support the people of Southwestern ( Henry County) and other local counties that have high unemployment and no health insurance. If he follows the Republican plan, those people that are hurting will continue with no health care. Hopefully he will be a governor for the people – all party's, not just the Rush Limbaugh party.

    November 8, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Jimmy

    Its time for all Americans to have Health coverage. I think some people believe that it is a class right because they are evil and only truely care about themselves. If this bill can promote good health for all Americans, or at least more awearness, then why not opt for it. It is also sickening to talk with people who dont have health insurance who are against the bill. These people are idiots, up in my face, with high blood pressure and no health insurance, talking about why should the governement be getting involved in healthcare. Stupid!!

    November 8, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. Jimmy

    Good luck to the governor. Im sure he will do pretty well in a state like Virginia. However, I feel sorry for him because he believes that he play games with healthcare. Before this issue made its way to the debate table, healthcare was already an issue, but the right and left people never made it a real debate. Now that the debate is prime time everyone including governor elect has the hands all in it. I'm paying attention and all I see more of the same, "we will make it more affortable". How on earth are you going to do that when middle class families are losing their jobs and savings faster than you can blink. These politicians are phony. They jump on and off of band wagons like a two dollar woe.

    November 8, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. B

    It was certainly OK to SAVE the auto companies and the banks, and Wall street with TAXPAYERS money though wasn’t it?

    The people also want a better- BANG for their Buck- with the Insurance Companies ,and the Credit card companies, and the Banks now!!

    November 8, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. AJP

    Being a Republican he doesn't know much, other wise he wouldn't be a Republican.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the basics.

    Let's assume you work for McDonald's and make six bucks and hour.

    You loose your job and if you don't have a Public option you are screwed.

    Is there any Republican's with brains, or all they all cat fish. big mouth and no brains.

    November 8, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    Harry Reid's proposal that states be allowed to opt-out of the public option insurance program would actually make it more affordable, since Southern governors like McDonnell who are more loyal to Republican ideals than to their constituents would likely lead most of the Southern States in opting out, and they are the states with the highest rates of obesity-related diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately, these states also include some of the highest rates of uninsured citizens, but, of course, that's not the Republicans' problem.

    November 8, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    So it's business as usual in the state of Virginia until the year 2011 when taxes WILL go up. In the meantime, how will bridges and roads get fix and what about my job next that was SAVED by the stimulus this year????

    November 8, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. Maryland Democrat

    He brings up an interesting point.

    In 2011, the tax CUTs created by former President Bush will expire.

    Even if democrats do really badly in 2010, in all likelihood they will still have a majority, or a very, very large minority in the house and senate
    So, in 2011, if the tax CUTs are not renewed, will that bring up a whole new whirlwind of politics debate (instead of policy)

    Republicans: "You raised taxes, even when you said you wouldn't"
    Democrats: "we didn't raise anything. we just stopped giving tax breaks to those who don't deserve it"
    Republicans: "You're too liberal"
    Democrats: "you're too conservative"
    Both: "I hate you, your stupid, and your going to lose in 2012"

    Can't you all just see it now?

    November 8, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. jules sand-perkins

    McDonnell is entering the arena as a presidential possibility as charismatic and unspoiled (without luggage) for his conservative point of view as Obama was maintained to personify his point of view.
    Our Republican party needs a fresh personal symbol. Perhaps McDonnell will be the one.

    November 8, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. Keith in Austin

    Yesterday's House approval for Obummercare will be a Bellweather moment for fiscal conservatives landslide Congressional victories just 1 short year from now and Obozo's single term! Thank God the clock is ticking!

    November 8, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
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