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 Americans opposed this legislation, and, now they’re clamoring to see it repealed and replaced.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

    Sorry Mitch, you did not speak for 32 Million Americans who your party left behind when you had a chance to lift them up.
    Jesus is very happy with those who see the problem and have the courage to fix it. What they did for the 32 million, is what Jesus would have done.

    March 27, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. LG

    Can someone explain the Republic mantra of "companies to compete with each other across state lines"

    Looking at my employer, it offers large insurance companies that are already licensed in all states or local insurance groups that exist only in this region. If they sign with the national company, nothing changes. If they sign with a local company outside of this region, we end up with a carrier who has not enrolled medical services in this area - a clearly nonsensical situation.

    I suspect the real agenda here is more like this. The Republican mantra is a cover for allowing companies to ignore state laws concerning coverage requirements by buying a cheap plan offered by another state that has minimal requirements and zilch consumer protection. I can readily picture a state making a successful business of offering the cheapest insurance in the nation so that so that companies can improve their bottom line by offering crappy insurance.

    March 27, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    Jon, do you think possibly you're about to take an insurance cut not because of this new plan which really won't take effect fully for 4 years, but because the insurance companies own monopolies over health care and keep raising the rates to the point where people and employers can no longer afford them? Just asking.

    March 27, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. Death Panel Sarah

    TO ib......
    Tort reform was tried, and it did nothing to curb costs. The amount of money paid out in lawsuits is inconsequential compared to the profits of insurance companies.(Besides, how can you place a limit on mal-practice when it costs a life???) Allowing ins. companies to compete across state lines will do nothing either.

    Don't you understand? They don't WANT to compete. They will just all raise their rates together!!!Its called collusion!!!
    It's not tort problems....its profit problems!!!
    They HAVE to be regulated!!! Greedy people do NOT self-regulate!!!

    March 27, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. Larry

    Republican talking points always suggest that they can do better

    But they NEVER DO ... NEVER

    The Party Of NO – thing

    March 27, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. Death Panel Sarah

    I guess Boner was right when he said REPUBLICANS didn't read the bill!!!!

    What a bunch of lies and Limpballsisms!!!!

    March 27, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. sensible Cape Coral FL

    Then why didn't you when you had the chance? Just who do you think you're kidding?

    March 27, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. Abe

    Senator McConnell tried very hard to derail the president from day one. Now he got what he deserved and says " We can do better" . The prayers of the needy and the American people has been heard. It is time for him to retire and we appreciate his service to this country, but he is getting out of touch and the reality of the new world. He should be a leader and not a promoter of fear and scare tactic of what will happen to the democrats in the November election. I am proud of all the democrats who voted for the legislation digging down deep in there hearts and vote for what is right. The Republicans are a whole bunch of heartless people who think for there own survival. The Repeal and Replace will not work. What we should do is to Repeal all of the Republicans inhumane belief and Replace them come next election. God Bless our country.

    March 27, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. No Longer Hopeful in America

    If the GOP can do better...why haven't they??? They killed the Clinton effort and under GW Bush, they had eight years in the White Hosue with majorities in Congress...and not a single proposal, not one...but now...they claim they can do better. Do I hear a hollow ring?

    March 27, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    Well, actually, McConnell, you CAN'T do better.

    You had control of the White House, Congress and Senate from 2000-2006 and did absolutely NOTHING regarding health care reform (the Medicare prescription plan includes a huge gap known as the "donut hole" so I don't consider that meaningful reform).

    You Republicans will continue lying to Americans and yes, there are some who are too stupid and have the memory of a gnat who will believe you.

    But the rest of us know from hard experience just how little you Republicans are capable of doing, outside of:

    – giving tax cuts to the wealthiest
    – starting two unfunded wars
    – de-regulating the financial industry to the point of global financial meltdown
    – ignoring explicit warnings about our enemies trying to harm us
    – tarnishing our international reputation by not only squandering all the world's goodwill towards us after 9/11, but also by using torture against prisoners of war (saying we have a "war on terror" but those who conduct it are "enemy combatants" is a cynical ploy to avoid accountability)

    Republicans don't know diddly about economic, military and foreign policy.

    They do know how to incite violence, promote fear, hate and division, and in general provide examples of exactly how NOT to conduct oneself (your party has too many hypocritical, lying, mooching losers to count!).

    Shame on all of you – especially those who wrap themselves in the flag and Christianity and use it as an excuse for all of their bad behavior!

    March 27, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Shawn

    What should we take from such a statement? "We can do better"

    Ok, so what is your problem Mr. Senator? Why didn't you do you job? We're not paying you to sit around and complain. We're paying you to get the job done. Get off your duff, walk across the isle and start talking to people so the American people (ALL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!) can have something better. We're tired of these Tea Party antics. Nothing gets done. The republican party had EIGHT YEARS to get things done. You say "we can do better" the American taxpayers want to know when you plan on starting. Are you just going to sit there and collect a paycheck and do nothing or are we actually goin gto see this "better" thing you're talking about?

    We're paying you $193,400 a year. Get off your duff and get to work!

    March 27, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. GOP losers...............

    We've already done better by electing a President and party who don't ignore social-economic policies like Republicans for the last 35 years. The only thing McConnell's Republican party has done is start unjustified war and help the rich. lost you're chance to do better by failing to do better when you had the chance loser.

    March 27, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. George

    So Mitch, the real question is, why didn't you already do something about it. If the Repuqs wanted to lead on health care, they had plenty of chances in the decades past, and they did nothing. I've lost so much respect for my former party that I will never come back.

    March 27, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. GOP losers...............

    We've already done better by electing a President and party who don't ignore social-economic policies like Republicans for the last 35 years. The only thing McConnell's Republican party has done is start unjustified war and help the rich. lost you're chance to do better by failing to do better when you had the chance, loser.

    March 27, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. Mike in Texas

    Why didn't you?

    Six years of control of both congress and the White House and all we got was a Medicare Prescription bill costing billions of dollars and a big donut hole in costs.

    This bill will fix that donut hole.

    You have no Cred Mitch.

    March 27, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. Albert R. K.

    Three decades of deregulation of the banks and Wall Street, lowering taxes on corporations and other rich investers and all we got from this Republican crap is no jobs and lost homes. The middle class wealth has been sponged away by their global corporate economy. They had over 30 years and look at where they took us. They cannot do better. They have not done better! They need to realize their Party is over!

    March 27, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. Terry from West Texas

    ib says that we need tort reform. Texans fell for that line several years ago. Our state legislature, which takes its orders from any large corporation in Texas, capped medical malpractice suits at $250,000. Subsequent studies have show absolutely zero impact. The cost of medical care in Texas is just like it is in the other states that have unreformed torts. The insurance companies in Texas are making more money though.

    So, if a drunk physician accidentally removes both of your kidneys instead of your gall bladder, you can live on that $250,000 for a year or two I guess. In the meantime, the physician will be practicing in another state.

    March 27, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. Rush Limbaugh sponsors violence

    Old turtleface needs a mental checkup.

    March 27, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Ronald

    My Quastion is why the GOP did not do a reform bill when Bush was in Office you had the chance. You also had a chance on this package you said no so shut up.

    March 27, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Aaron

    These know-it-alls had 6 years of total control to do something about health care. They did nothing at all. Now, we're supposed to think that they care about anything other than tax-payer paid health care for themselves and getting more money for their wealthy croonies.

    March 27, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Dusty

    The Republicans had no interest in any health care reform before the President initiated it, and they would have done NOTHING of their own accord. They're far too invested in keeping their friends in the insurance and medical industries rolling in the dough (and making big campaign contributions).

    March 27, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. Tori in Texas

    Why haven't the Repubs sent their plan to the CBO to be scored? Oh yea, because Tort reform and cross line ins sales have such little impact on the entire system. Doncha just hate it when your competitor make you look bad? Oh wait, you made yourselves look bad by being the Party of No! Thanks so much for helping us pass healthcare reform. I'll think of you, Mitch, everytime I get a low cost or FREE mammogram. Congratulations America! Stay healthy!

    March 27, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Gerry NH

    The reason the republicans are not in office is because they didn't do better. This bill take away tax breaks for corporation all over America. Look at AT&T $1 billion is losses and many other corporation in the same boat. The part of giving children with preexisting problems is out of the bill. The corporate layrew are looking at the bill and all of the bad part are starting to come out. This is what you get when you don't read the contract.

    March 27, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Dumb-o-CRAPS are runing America

    Better the something the Republicans come up with than the redistribution of wealth – which Senator Baccus admited was the purpose of the bill.

    March 27, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Linda Boyd-Hayes

    I find it sad that Republicans have all these great ideas for health care now. It's a matter of sour grapes. Let's examine this. We had Nixon, Ragan, and two Bushes. Where were your ideas about health care then?
    History always repeats itself. This is just the flip side of what the Democrates had to put up with when the Republicans had power and passed all kinds of stupid bills (like changing daylight savings time) when americans were being killed at war, please. Mark my word, the Republicans are going to suffer come election time. Hate talk will not get you re-elected. Nobody (Republicans or Democrates) like that sort of thing. Oh by the way, I'm sure Republicans have young adult children under age 26 that will remain on their insurance. and they have plenty of small buinesses that will benefit from the tax credit . Republicans, if you think it will benefit you to take help away from the voters, keep doing what you are doing.

    March 27, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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