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 Americans opposed this legislation, and, now they’re clamoring to see it repealed and replaced.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

    All the complainers in these comments forgot that McCain did have a better plan that he proposed during his campaign. So did Hillary and Romney. But guess what you people got duped big time and voted for the biggest con artist. Worst part of it, the people that voted for Obama voted for him because they hated Bush and not what Obama stood for. They didn't hear a word Obama said. The only thing they remember in the voting booth was the word "change" . Now we have to live with it.
    Wait untill 2014 and see how this current high is going to turn to despair..
    Good luck to all.

    March 27, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Robin Bray

    No you can't do better, You have proved that again and again. You can line your pockets better, have affairs better and deny being gay better until you get caught. But then you are better at appearing on TV begging forgiveness after being caught.

    You have just one motto, " Whatever kills the most gets funded the most." Abortion and a woman's safety — bad. Unjustified wars of mass killing by our troops and covering it up — good.

    March 27, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Doug

    You and the rest of the GOP had 8 years and you still couldn't pass or agree on anything even with your own party in control of congress and the white house. The politics in our nation hasn't been about the people it has been about making sure the other party isn't successful, even if that means the people suffer. We have been and are so don't try to act like you are looking out for our best interest now.

    March 27, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. dan smith

    The reason Republicans didn't accomplish health care reform when they had control of congress is because they didn't have enough control of congress and the Democrats kept any reform bills from coming to a vote. President Bush tried several times to get health care reforms passed but Ted Kennedy and crew kept it from happening were more concerned with their special interest groups than they were about what was best for the people, so stop blaming republicans for this failure of a bill.

    March 27, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. The Dude

    You can fool some of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time. These are the people the GOP needs to focus on!

    March 27, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. vette gal

    Whine, Whine, Whine! This is what the republicans are now, whiners! Polls are now showing that the majority of americans are now in favor of the health bill, not against it. Count me in as one of those. Maybe if they came up with solutions and tried to work with our President instead of against him, we might believe him. However, when you have a party that says they will vote No on everything, how can you vote for anyone in that party. Obstructionists never win and hopefully, it will stay that way. Thank God the democrats finally grew some balls.

    March 27, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. Allen Hussein

    Republican Healthcare Plan:
    1) Don't get sick.
    2) If you do, die quick.
    3) If you don't die quick, take Eric Cantor's advice and ask for charity.
    4) Healthcare is a priviledge, not a right.
    5) If you are male like Senator Kyl, be glad you don't need materinity care.
    6) Health care reform will turn us into a Soviet Gulag, so says Devin Nunes.
    7) Let's sell accross state lines so acne and domestic violence will be considered a pre existing condition in all 50 states.
    8) Tort reform, lets make malpractice fashionable again.
    9) I was for cutting Medicare before I was against it, now I want to be like Congressman Ryan and throw everyone under 55 under the bus and deny them Medicare when they turn 65. Thanks for paying Medicare taxes though.
    10) Let's eliminate Medicare, Medicare, the VA, SCHIP and all other forms of socialized medicine.
    11) Being uninsured and dying from a treatable illness is a right enshrined by the Consitution.
    12) Any health care plan that cannot fit on a blank sheet of paper is too complicated and should be scrapped.

    March 27, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. jklfjla

    Yes, we could have done better. Why didn't you? You had more than a year to do better.

    March 27, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. wally

    Timing couldn't be worse...millions of people unemployed? Then why did you/Senator Coburn block extending unemployment benefits to those millions of people last week? Do you know that those millions of unemployed will also lose their health care benefits when their Cobra expires? If you Repugs had your way, the unemployed would be standing in line to get a square meal or sleeping in tents or by railroad tracks rather than lending a helping hand. You'd better get in touch with real people versus the racist/Medicare/Social Security recipients of the Tea Party!

    March 27, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    Tell me again, GOPers, why I would want to repeal this existing bill and put it in the hands of the party of *NO - HELL - NO* ?

    March 27, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. lmc

    The Republicans had 10 years to do better, but did they? The members of Congress have great health care, so they don't have to worry. I was really hoping for single payer, universal health care, but the insurance companies weren't about to let that happen. When you think of the health care available for everyone in Germany, France, Canada, UK, and other countries, our health care coverage has been a shame. The new legislation will be one step in the right direction. Two thirds of the bankruptcies in our country have been caused by catastrophic health care costs–is that something to be proud of? Should people be forced into bankruptcy and lose everything over medical costs? I certainly don't think so! If the Republicans can come up with something better, that's great. Right now their only real gripe is that it was a plan put forth by Democrats. I'm sick of this Republican/Democrat split in our country! The parties need to work together for the better of our country. Who cares if legislation is "red" or "blue" as long as it benefits the people of our country! The reds and the blues need to get together for the benefit of the red, white and blue!

    March 27, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. lmc

    Face it–insurance companies care nothing about people. They only care about their profit. Insurance companies should be non-profit at the very least!

    March 27, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. Yes We Can

    Senator McConnel, just say NO that is good enough for GOP

    March 27, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    If "we" can do better, why didn't you? Insurance company profits rose 400% over the time you were in office, and you did nothing. You wouldn't even take your place at the grown up table, choosing instead to throw a 2-year old temper tantrum in front of the cameras and just saying no to everything.

    (For all you moms and dads out there, that was one of my favorite times with my kids. They said no to everything!)

    Republicans always come up with "we can do it better" after the Democrats do something that could help people. Why is that? If they don't want to govern, resign, or at the very least get out of the way so the adults can get us out of the mess these guys got us into in the first place.

    March 27, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. gofigure

    Tell me again, GOPers, why I would want to repeal HCR and put it into the hands of a political party endorsing the slogan *HELL NO!* . . .

    March 27, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Ann

    A health care bill is not a bad thing. The bad thing is that this is a health insurance bill. Second, the economic problem was supposed to be the priority, not adding to the deficit. This bill is a show bill, campaigning is important for this administration, and Obama is more interested in historical moments than the prosperity of ordinary Americans.

    March 27, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Republicans know they are in terrible trouble because the Healthcare bill passed and became law and their worst nightmare has become reality. They know that those 30+ million people who are not covered by healthcare are going to be grateful and will vote Democrat in the midterms AND in 2012 and the Republicans don't know what to do with themselves now..they pinned everything on this bill failing to be passed and LOST and now all they can do is offer weak tea attacks against it that are as ineffective as a flea whispering in the ear of a bull mastiff dog.

    March 27, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. The Great Northwest

    Mitch I agree with this about you and your party of NO" you are against anything positive from the color of skin to all people having access to health care.
    From the first day Obama began his campaign to today you have used every hateful tactic known to downgrade Obama and your party disowned every Republican that failed to vote your NO regardless of what the vote was for if it was from a Democrat.
    Then you scream Obama never included the Republicans and yet Obama has gone across the isle ,had meetings with you more than any President ever has done and all you know is ban togather and all say NO and if one of your Republicans vote across the isle they catch hell are disowned and not one of us Repubs that live on "C Street.
    Shape up or ship out but guess you have already did that .

    March 27, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Thomas L. Sarasota, Fl.

    Who is this guy kidding. They had control for close to a decade when George W. Bush was in office, and they made absolutely no effort whatsoever to get a comprehensive healthcare package through. I'm absolutely fed-up and sick of the lies and useless trash that this party continues to throw out to the public. So unfortunately, Mitch McConnell is just a part of the huge problem problem in American politics.

    March 27, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. Linda

    They still keep saying the majority of Americans don't want this reform bill which is not true. If President Obama turned into Christ, cured cancer, HIV, H1N1, the common cold, solved world peace, etc. the republicans would still hate him. These racist still cannot believe that a black man is Predsident.

    March 27, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Useyourbrain!!!

    McConnell failed to mention the PROFIT made by Caterpillar last year. They won't lay off workers as long as sales continue to grow, no matter how much health insurance costs. They need workers to keep up with demand....funny how many people cannot figure this out...

    March 27, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Death Panel Sarah

    I think all republican's noses should grow when they tell a lie......

    March 27, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. LG

    This is incredibly nonsense.

    When the Republicans announced that they would not only all vote against it but also threaten to fillibuster, it meant the Democrats had to retain all 60 votes. That, in turn, forced all sorts of special deals and compromises to keep them voting Yes.

    If the Republicans had gotten in the game we could have had a better law now, both from their proposals and from eliminating the need to create sweetheart deals for the Democratic holdouts.

    March 27, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. john

    Republicans didn't bring ANY ideas to the health care bill that passed. Just claiming that you can do better without any substance is the only think republicans can do.

    March 27, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Good morning Republicans. Where have you been for the last year? All of a sudden you have an interest in the bill. We can do better with the bill and that is to follow Florida's Congressman Grayson, the country should be on Medicare. He is the only one that really has put thought into health care.

    March 27, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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