March 27th, 2010
11:24 AM ET
11 years ago

McConnell on health bill: 'We can do better'

Washington (CNN) - In this week's Republican Internet and radio address, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky takes on Democrats' health care legislation.

(Read McConnell's full remarks after the jump)

Republican Weekly Internet and Radio Address for March 27, 2010
Delivered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky

“Hello. I’m Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Earlier this week, the President signed a massive health spending bill that’s been described as historic. Well, Democrats in Washington may measure history by how expensive and intrusive the bill is. But, most people outside Washington see things differently.

“In one of the most divisive legislative debates in modern history, Democrats decided to go the partisan route and blatantly ignore the will of the people. Americans opposed this legislation, and, now they’re clamoring to see it repealed and replaced.

“Democratic Leaders and White House officials may be celebrating their victory this week, but most of the rest of the country is not.

“Most people aren’t interested in celebrating a bill that makes their lives more complicated, takes more out of their paychecks and puts decisions they’re used to making themselves into the hands of federal bureaucrats.

“Most people aren’t celebrating the fact that their insurance premiums will go up. Seniors aren’t popping champagne corks at more than a half a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts. And, job creators, already struggling in a down economy, aren’t doing any cartwheels over all the mandates and new taxes they’ll have to shoulder as a result of this bill.

“We’re already seeing the economic fallout.

“Just two days after this bill became law, the John Deere Company said it will spend an extra $150 million this year alone just to comply with the new law. Illinois-based Caterpillar Corporation said it expects to take a $100 million hit.

“This is bad news for workers, and its terrible news for the broader economy. As the President himself put it during a visit to Caterpillar last year: ‘you can measure America’s bottom line by looking at Caterpillar’s bottom line.’ That was the President a year ago.

“The timing couldn’t be worse. At a moment when millions of Americans are looking for work, Democrats in Washington just voted to spend $2.6 trillion on a health care bill that will make it even harder to create private-sector jobs. The IRS sure gets a boost, though. An estimated 16,500 new workers will be needed there to enforce a brand new insurance mandate that the bill imposes on employers.

“And then there are all the unintended consequences that will inevitably result from a 2,800-page bill that sets up dozens of federal boards and a thicket of new rules and regulations — regulations that we know won’t withstand their first contact with reality.

“In fact, we’re already seeing it. Just one day after the President signed this bill into law, we got word that one of its celebrated early features — a ban on discriminating against children with pre-existing conditions — won’t immediately protect children after all.

“Another promise, requiring insurance companies to let young adults stay on their parents’ plans up to age 26, turned out to be similarly ineffective. In other words, Democrats in Congress just voted to take over one-sixth of our economy, and two of the biggest selling points they used to push it over the finish line already need fixing. Here’s a question: if they can’t get these two things right, how can we expect them to properly manage the rest of it?

“When the White House was questioned about the glitches in the bill, they said the Secretary of Human Services was on the case. They said she’d issue a new regulation to correct the problem. But this is precisely what Americans are afraid of.

“This bill hadn’t even been law for 24 hours, and already they’re proposing regulations to cover over mistakes and errors. And we haven’t even seen the last of it.

“I’m sure that soon enough, every American will be reminded of the wisdom of that old observation that ‘government is best which governs least.’

“Look, nobody is satisfied with the health care system as it is. We’ve got serious problems that need to be addressed. Costs are out of control. Too many people are being squeezed out of the market. But, the fact of the matter is, this health care bill doesn’t solve any of those problems. It uses them as an excuse to undermine the things we do best — the wide array of choices, the constant innovations in technology and treatments, and the high quality of care that people all around the world admire about the American health care system.

“Sadly, all of those things will suffer as a result of the bill the President signed this week.

“We can do better. We can expand access to people with preexisting conditions. We can keep people from being kicked off their plans. We can lower costs and premiums. We can do all of these things without undermining the things we do best and without raising taxes that kill jobs in a bad economy.

“The American people know that. That’s why they’ve been clamoring for a different approach, and that’s why Republicans are committed to repealing this bill and replacing it with common sense solutions that achieve the good things that folks on both sides want to achieve without all the nasty consequences we’re already beginning to see.

“Repeal and replace. That’s what Americans really want, and that’s something people far beyond Washington, D.C. will actually want to celebrate.

“Thanks for listening.”

Filed under: GOP • Health care • Mitch McConnell • Popular Posts
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    If you can do better, then why didn't you? Republicans had their chance and they did NOTHING.

    March 27, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. redgraham

    When did you plan on starting? How long has this been an issue? When you had the opportunity for input and bipartisanship you first said no, the hell no. You and your party has lost all credibility.

    March 27, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Just say "no" to the Party of No. Laugh them into a long run of minority.

    March 27, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. Nadeem

    McConnel is all politics and no policy. From what i heard in this address is – lets use this as a political football, repeal it but keep all the benifits with none of the pain. This is just not reality if you want the bill to be deficit neutral.

    March 27, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Saying "No!" to over 30 million Americans with out affordable health insurance is not doing better. This republican crap is pure politics, because they did not give a rat's behind when they controlled both houses and the presidency. A lot of republican ideas were included in HCR, even though they did everything to derail the bill.

    Lying and fear tactics do not help Americans.

    March 27, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Charlie in Maine

    "We Can do Better":

    Well that is interesting...if memory serves you folks were in charge starting in 1994 and you had a President from your party in charge 2000-2006 so if you were going to "do better" why didn't you? Oh that's right the GOP leadership was too busy helping George W Bush to give away our surplus to their rich friends and then spending 12 million$ an hour occupying a country that never attacked us to bother with a little thing like health-care. So now you think you can do better- well I would be happy to look at your plan if you have one.

    March 27, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. j

    The Republicans and Conservatives had a year to present their proposals and solutions AND DID NOTHING but obstruct what the Democrats were doing. Instead of saying NO to everything, why don't the Republicans try joining in on the conversation, presenting and compromising on their ideas? They really come off as a spoiled brat that's throwing a tantrum because they used to be in power and now they're not. I sincerely hope they're never in a position of power again.

    March 27, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Hey Mitch, you lie!

    March 27, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Jim

    Instead of trying to score political points they should have been part of the process and representing some of use who believe in the basic tenets of republicanism and not the far right. Maybe if they had we would have had a better bill.

    March 27, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. thinkingharder

    He is pitiful. The Republicans had eight years with Bush and did nothing and tried to do nothing about health care reform except unfunded drug benefits. The Republican Party is in desperate need of leadership. Limbaugh, Coutler, Steele, McConnell, Boehner are clowns, not leaders. To lead means you are going somewhere. These people are clueless.

    March 27, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Faustina Espinoza

    “Just two days after this bill became law, the John Deere Company said it will spend an extra $150 million this year alone just to comply with the new law. Illinois-based Caterpillar Corporation said it expects to take a $100 million hit."

    I hope old Mitch has taken into consideration the millions in profits these companies have earned, millions paid to lobbyists and millions of "bonuses" the ceo's earned. Perhaps they can cut a little of their pay and keep our people emplyed.

    March 27, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Viet. Vet

    They can do better, pardon me while I puke! He just can't get rid of the repugs smoke and mirrors, I know, Americans are so dumb, they wouldn't realize that for 8 plus 1 year when they could, they didn't!!

    March 27, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. John

    McConnell on health bill: 'We can do better'

    Translation: We want to go back to the old status-quo.

    March 27, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Marie MD

    Yes, we can do better. We can throw your sorry a$$ and those of your cronies who don't care one bit about Americans unless they give you money to pay you off.
    Repugs are going to be very surpsied come November. Most of my republicans friends cannot believe that healthcare reform turned into one of the ugliest campaigns in our history. They are sorry they even voted for mcnasty in 2008.
    How's voting against that healthy cary reformy mavericky working out for you now?

    March 27, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. stevetall

    Aren't the Republicans in favor of anything? I guess that just because a majority of Americans wanted a change in the healthcare system, that's no reason to work together to fix something that's broken.

    Grow up!

    March 27, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  16. GPC

    We can do better, by accelerating the time line to establish exchanges and immediately capping insurance premium increases to the national inflation rate.

    GPC in Lubbock

    March 27, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. Indy

    I think he should have said "we could have done better" by being adults and helping the middle class for once in our lifetime. You could have done better previously with all of that unjust war crap as well, but you always say you can do better after the fact.

    March 27, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Toby Thomas

    First of all, most of the country is celebrating the passage of the health care bill signed by President Obama this past week. Secondly, if the Republicans can do better, than why didn't they during their eight years of control? Even then, they were saying our health care system could not be sustained as is. Let's face it, the Democrats finally grew a spine. Now, the Republicans need to gain some civility and try to be leaders and role models to their crazy, dangerous "followers".

    March 27, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Mike

    Mitch McConnell should have been part of the process to make the health care reform the best possible bill. However, he complains that it could be better but stood on the sidelines saying "NO" the entire time. Too Late McConnell - Please don't try to CON America to make us think you actually care now. You only opposed the bill without trying to make it better!

    March 27, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Gotta love how CNN misleads with the headlines.

    March 27, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. Roberto

    Really? are you talking for me? no way. I am happy it passed . Shame on you did not help to improve it when the president asked you to do so.

    March 27, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. DarthVader

    Hahaha! Right – the way you guys did better on health care all those years you Republicans controlled both houses of congress and the presidency? I think not! We saw the steepest health care increases under your party's tender loving care.

    March 27, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. Liberal wingnut

    There is too many media following sheep. Its only a matter of time and we will go bankrupt.

    March 27, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. Jackalope

    The Republicans had many opportunities to shape the health bill, but instead of taking advantage of them, they chose to use deceit and demagoguery to oppose and obstruct the bill.

    Their irrational hatred for Obama and the Democrats has blinded them.

    March 27, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. ted

    This is typical of the Grand Obstructionist Party, The Party of NO. The Republican leadership shoudl be fired. Yes, McConnell, Boener, Cantor, Steele, Limbaugh, Beck, Palin. All of the morons. They continually said they had a plan and they had suggestions and they were concerned, but THEY NEVER DEMONSTRATED ANYTHING OTHER THAN BEING OUTRIGHT OBSTRUCTIONISTS. They said NO to the 32 million uninsured. They said NO to the people who get dropped from insurance. They said NO to the people whose premiums get jacked because they got sick. They said NO to the people who couldn;t get insurance because of preexisting conditions. Why did they say NO? Because they don't care about people like I have just described. Those people are inconvenient to the Party of NO. And now they want to repeal the law. Good luck losers.

    March 27, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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