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 Americans opposed this legislation, and, now they’re clamoring to see it repealed and replaced.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. jj7068

    Sean Hannity agrees with Mitch McConnell.

    March 27, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Seattle Sue

    Hey Mr. Wonderful Republican. Why didn't you do better when you had the power to it. The eight years of Bush and Republicans were in power I don't recall the mention of Health Care. You Sir, are as phony as a three dollar bill, plus all the Republicans such as Boehner,Cantor and others.

    March 27, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Roger Whipple

    If you can do better then...well...why didnt you? how had 8 whole years? Stop whining and sit down and shut up. Or even better get to work and stop just saying no.

    March 27, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. Bing

    Iam happy that the health bill passed. I hope to see some improvement to the bill. Hope the Repubs wi9ll finally support the American peoples.

    March 27, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. Tom

    Too little, too late pal – why does this all still look like the same manipulation of fact & clever spinning of words to portray a good thing as bad? Costs of this program are real, but so are the benefits & savings, we hope. You had your chance – eight years of losing your credibility has resulted in deaf ears now. Let's move on & see how well this works. I have faith that it'll be much better than M.M. is claiming it will be.

    March 27, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. badger

    Hopefully the people of Kentucky say we can do better and repeal and replace mitch mcconnel.

    March 27, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. MikeH

    At what point do the Republicans realize that they look absolutely – and I mean ABSOLUTELY, like fools, incompetents, mentally defectives, yada yada, when they say something like this or act out in the chambers of Congress.

    I thought David Frum's comments would have clued them in, but I guess not. McConnel is one of the worst of the bunch, he has that 'thousand yard glare' it doesn't appear that both his eyes are even focused at the same object.

    The Republican party is going to be destroyed.

    March 27, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. Hannah

    I think if President Obama were for puppies the Republicans would be against them. They don't want any wins for Obama, so they are going to try to keep any legislation from happening. I call that unpatriotic to say the least. That show to all of us that they are all about party and power and that they are not working for us. But we knew that already.

    March 27, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. aos

    John Deere and Caterpillar are complaining because they were subsidized 28% of the healthcare costs for their retirees but were allowed to deduct the costs of 100% of the costs, the govt. subsidy and the money they paid (72%). Now they can only deduct from their taxes only their real expenses, the 72%, not the govt. subsidy. This only seems fair. Why should the taxpayers have to pay twice for a govt. subsidy?

    March 27, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. CR

    It doesn't wash. The Republicans had control of everything for years and refused to enact reforms. They only want to protect the for profit interests of the status quo. The GOP can do better by ditching the nonstop fear-mongering and hate fest.

    March 27, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Mitchell Payes

    Utter crap. Republicans had decades to do it and all they have done is stuff their pockets and assure that insurance companies, pharma and doctors made immoral record profits. They have destroyed this contry.

    March 27, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Meka

    Apparently, McConnell has forgotten the LAST 8 YEARS. HISTORY SPEAKS FOR ITSELF!

    March 27, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Your party had 6 years of complete control and did NOTHING and the people voted in Dems in the last two years because you did NOTHING about healthcare, now you claim we can do better? You had your chance and the Republicans blew so don't sit there and spout off now; your time is past, Prez Obama is actually DOING something to help us, not just ignoring those who are not white, rich, and priviledged. And you think that the midterms will be a referendum against the Dems? We of the silent majority have a surprise for you that will make your pathetic teabaggers look like the dance group in Weird Al Yankovic's Fat video.

    March 27, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Latonya Tousssaint Bruno

    I am an independent voter, I have observed both sides and I think the democrats and President Obama are looking out for the American people. The Republicans had 8 years and they did nothing but vote for wars that we couldn't afford, now they want to start complaining about spending too much money. Why did'nt they say this when Bush was spending too much money.

    March 27, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Tom

    Repeal and replace with what? The Republicans had many opportunities to propose alternative ideas over the past year while the health care bill was debated in congress. All they wanted to do was play politics and insist the bill be scrapped. They never offered a single constructive idea.

    Now that the bill is law, suddenly the Republicans have common sense solutions to offer. So we should all insist that the health care bill be repealed because the Republicans are now ready to talk about health care? Sorry, it's a little late. Where were these common sense ideas when the bill was being debated?

    And what are these "common sense solutions" anyway? Even in their attempt to make a case to repeal the health care bill, the Republicans still haven't offered a concrete idea. We get the message - you don't like Obamacare. Let's see your better plan.

    Stop the whining and get over yourselves. Try doing what you were elected to do - be part of a representative government rather than just opposing everything the Democrats propose.

    March 27, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Chet Dettlinger

    I moved from KY 37 years ago. The good news is I don't have to admit that an obstructionist like McConnel was actially elected there. The bad news is: I moved to Georgia where idiots reign and the ignorant governor held hands clasped
    / eye squinting prayer vigils for rain. I wish these theocrats would keep their religious myths in church where they belong,

    March 27, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. daylatedollarshort

    GOPers spent their 8 year reign ignoring HCR. GOPers don't like HCR.

    BUT, give them a mandate and they will fix Health Care by, in McConnells own words, "giving access to people with preexisting conditions. (GOPers) can keep people being kicked off their plans for catastrophic conditions. (GOPers) can keep people from being squeezed out. (Gopers) can lower costs and premiums...". All of this, paraphrasing McConnell, is "what American's really want" and all of this can be accomplished by "Repeal and Replace".

    Guess Mitch was too busy with his just say no TV apprearances to read the bill.

    Had Mitch been paying better attention, he would probably understand that these things the GOPers plan on using for fundraising events have already been taken care of now that President Obama signed HCR into LAW.

    We all know the bill, Mitch. It's that bill the Democrats passed a week ago tomorrow. That bill YOU and YOUR party spent the past year fighting against. That bill all you GOPers voted NO to.

    It's the law now, Mitch. Really it is.

    March 27, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. fastrack

    Hey, Mitch! If you want us to believe anything that comes out of your mouth NOW, why don't you and your party of hell no find that awful death panel and rally against it?

    March 27, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. jim

    we have been waiting and waiting for the republicans to do something ... ANYthing ...

    you say you can do better?

    prove it.

    March 27, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. dan smith

    If I were running a business and had to cut jobs because of this lousy bill,I'd be firing as many democrat liberals that I possibly could.

    March 27, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Bill

    Your behavior and that of your members are disgustful.offered no solution to health care other than do nothing!The American people certify have understood the need for reform as the insurance industry has failed to police their industry itself as so many industries in the U.S latly and the GOP still stand by these corupt business. You GOP er's need to take good hard look at your behavior and get back to work and stop playing partisan politics. A example of that is John Mccain stating the GOP will not work with the other side the rest of this year. Come on get real!!!

    March 27, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. alex

    Republicans can always do better... when they're not in power. When they have the majority they only cut taxes for the top 5%, nothing else is ever on their agenda. Stop whining and start working on the issues instead of being a party of NO.

    March 27, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Bill

    Your behavior and that of your members are disgustful.You offered no solution to health care other than do nothing!The American people certainly have understood the need for reform as the insurance industry has failed to police their industry itself as so many industries in the U.S latly and the GOP still stand by these corupt business. You GOP er's need to take good hard look at your behavior and get back to work and stop playing partisan politics. A example of that is John Mccain stating the GOP will not work with the other side the rest of this year. Come on get real!!!

    March 27, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Joyce4620

    Coverage says WA is one of the states challenging the health care bill. Not true. Our Attorney General has gone against our Governor and the people and signed on. We Washingtonians thing the bill is great. Don't lump us in with those trying to undo a great work.

    March 27, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Mark

    Anything would be better than the crap the dems pushed down our throats....

    March 27, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8