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 Americans opposed this legislation, and, now they’re clamoring to see it repealed and replaced.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. stop the nonsense

    Sen McConnell and so many other long term Republicans say they can do better but the truth is- they didn't. Thes same talking heads have been on office for decdaes and have done nothing to help the public with healthcare reform.
    They have allowed the insurnace companies to go unchecked and services to decrease while premiums skyrocketed.
    The only argument most poeple had about a public option was the cost to taxpayers. This is a valid concern. Yet no other proposal was ever put forth by the the Republican controleed Congress after they they anf their insurnace company budddies killed reform in 1993.
    Now they are trying to demonize a bill thay in its watered down state will still have some affect in helping and have still not come up with anything substantitve to replace it.
    Talk is cheap- there is a reason you were voted out of contirol in 2008- thisis one of those issues.

    March 27, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. hampster

    Good OLd MItch is absolutly right. The republicans will always find a way to throw more Americans under the bus to help the rich of America!

    March 27, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. joel

    Then why didn't you? The Republican's were in power for 8 years and didn't even say "health care".

    March 27, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. patricia c

    The Republican Party held both house from the 1994 until 2006 and held the White House and both houses from 2000 to 2006 ,lost the White House in 2008 . We saw and heard nothing but cut the taxes for the richest among us . Two wars that was never paid for . Bubbles ,upon Bubbles that exploded in Sept 2009 . Cnn needs to take a drive through the poorest parts of Kentucky like I did and see what Mitchell Mc Connell hasn't done foe Kentuckians lately.

    Around Ft Knox it;s a drug haven! used to real military Towns .

    Mitch Mc Connell is known as Money Bags Mc Connell in Kentucky.
    Go get screwed Mitch because you've hugged us enough already.

    March 27, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. Ric

    If you could have done better, then WHY DIDN'T YOU? Instead, you chose non-cooperation and inciting of violence. You guys in the GOP made fools of yourselves.

    March 27, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. Tom B

    Why didn't you do better? Why were you simply obstructionist jerks who seem not to care about our great country?

    March 27, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Sam

    You keep on telling us what the American people think. I am an American and I think no where close to what you think I think, Before you think you know what I think, don't you think you should ask me what I think? Really.

    March 27, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. FactCheck

    You had the better part of the decade to do so, but were too busy giving tax breaks to your rich friends, deregulating banks for your Wall Street lobbyists and handing out no bid contracts to your buddies in the defense industry.

    March 27, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Sarge in Florida

    Mitch Mitch Mitch the only thing your party stands for is LIEs, LIES and more Lies..You had your chance when the two IDIOTS were in office and you did NOTHING. JUst a political scam to make money for your greedyness.

    March 27, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. One of the People

    “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."

    Democrats ignored the will of the people huh ?
    Ummmm think back about 10 years Mr. McConnell, Al Gore had more total vote then George Bush yet George Bush was sworn in as President... please explain to me how the 'will of the people' was served then.

    Also, it's been over a year since this all this with the Health Care bill started. Why do we have to start over ? Can you point me to a copy of the Republican Health Care bill ? Ya'll do have one, don't you ?

    March 27, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Donovan

    It's the same rhetoric by the republican'ts ... "tax cuts for the ultra-rich" ... "tort reform". Both have already been shown to do next to nothing. They can't get past their own rhetoric. They've spoken the lies to the point that they actually believe them now. It's very Goebbels-istic.

    March 27, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. nick

    McConnel, you GOP'ers are enough to make one vomit! If you turkeys had ideas then why did you work with the President instead of inciting riots with your brown shirts?

    March 27, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Bob (Illinois)

    As has been said before: Elections have consequences. All the GOP knows how to do is leave everything in the hands of the markets and cut taxes.

    Stop whining.

    Stop obstructing.

    Stop acting like a bunch of adolescents.

    You should change GOP to POI: Party of Intolerance!

    March 27, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. once upon a horse

    I think Bohner answered that statement there for you Mitch when he said "HELL NO WE CAN'T"!!

    March 27, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Tom

    The Republicans had lots of time to do something about health care when they were in power. They did nothing for us, everything for their big-bucks cronies. Now they are just the party of "rule or ruin" – we let them rule, or they will try to ruin us.

    March 27, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. rickster

    mitch, no you can't. conservatism is a failure and you are a falure.

    March 27, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Wmscot

    Then do it !
    Show us a health care program that does not include tax breaks for the wealthy, or tax shelters for the health and drug companies. Show us a health care program that will get all the uninsured health benefits. Show us a health insurance that covers all folks with pre-exsisting coverage. Show us something !!!!!

    March 27, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. ib

    Lying is what the democrats are best at. Just look at what is starting to come out on this stupid bill. Maybe if some of you liberals lose your jobs over the cost of this thing you might realize it. This bill went about it the wrong way; there are a lot better ways to address this problem and it is a problem. We need tort reform; to allow ins. companies to compete with each other across state lines just to name a couple of things. What this thing is going to do is to cause companies to lay off people and small business to go out and the ones that do have ins. will be paying a lot higher for it. Remember in Nov. vote them out and bring real healthcare reform not gov. takeover.

    March 27, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Paula

    If Republicans can do better, why haven't they? Perhaps because they are much more concerned about insurance lobbies and special interests. They have NEVER tried for health reform.

    March 27, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Jay

    Your comment, McConnell, is that you can do better for corporate interests like the insurance companies and the really rich. You and your party were in power for 6 years, what was the result please?

    The mess from that horribly inept Bush and your party is STILL being cleaned up.

    Yeah you SHOULD have done better. Hopefully we never need to give you the chance to do that. You've obviously shown you can't do better.

    March 27, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. HughLincoln

    A bit too much salesmanship, but I guess that's politiicians? We the people should make all politicians take tests on the contents of the bills they are voting for. They fail the test, they aren't allowed to vote on the legislation. Bills would get smaller and alot more direct.

    March 27, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Ron

    Of course they could. Too bad they didn't want to work with the democrats to make the current bill better. Yes, they could do better, but they apparently don't want to.

    March 27, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. Jon

    Republicans did nothing about health care when they were in office. I hate this new plan so why did you not do something. I am already about to take an insurance cut because of this plan so please do something to fix this knife in the back of lady liberty.

    March 27, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Linda


    March 27, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Blah, Blah and Blah

    You Republicans lie so much, until you make the word lie ashamed of it's self. It will be at least 20 – 30 year before you are in control of anything. Get over the fact that you are not in control.

    Health care has passed and you are already 30 million voters behind. Do the math the way you count your money.

    March 27, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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