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 Americans opposed this legislation, and, now they’re clamoring to see it repealed and replaced.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

    Mitch McConnell looks like he would make a perfect circus clown , red nose and all ! He barely won his re-election bid . Mitch needs to find other employment out of government . The same goes for John Boehner . As a matter of fact, many in the rethuglican party should do the honorable thing in and not seek re-election in the congress , and the same for those in the senate who will be up for re-election this November . But , as we know , there is no honor in the rethuglican party . The rethuglican party will eventually go the way of the dinosuar .

    March 27, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Bridget

    GOP, I don't *trust* you to do better, not after your collective behavior last week.

    I am happy that the health care bill passed and guesswhat? So is a MAJORITY of America, despite what you continue to tell your crazy fringe groups and Fox News. You are the minority and hopefully you will be for a long, long time, at least until moderates can bring your party back to being a respectful and respected one.

    March 27, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. AndyBlue

    "We can do better" .... watch us sit on our hands and pout for the next three years while obstructing everything in this trying time for Americans with the wars and economies.

    We own multiplee houses thanks to our investments in no bid contracts so we can afford to sit for years and do nothing. Our constituents will pay our salaries without question.

    We are the Republicans Sour Grapes Bunch. .

    Teabaggers Unite!!

    March 27, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. StevieB

    You had innumerable chances to try 'to do better' but you thought it was more important to play political games than to try to help your constituents.

    Don't think we won't remember that at the ballot box just as we remembered Newt Gingrinch's shutting down the governemt instead of lowering himself to talking to the opposing party.

    March 27, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. Ron in Asheville, NC

    Of course we can do better–and should have–Mitch. And why didn't we? Because ol' Mitch and his party offered only opposition, nothing constructive, nothing that moved anything anywhere. Saying this now is just ridiculous!

    March 27, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Kevin Collins

    Once again, a GOPer says his party has the solutions to fixing out health-care system w/o bothering to provide the details for doing just that. As for these:

    "It uses them as an excuse to undermine the things we do best — the wide array of choices" -

    Yeah, and virtually all these "choices" are too expensive.

    "...the constant innovations in technology and treatments..."

    Which don't mean diddly if you can't afford any of them.

    "...and the high quality of care that people all around the world admire about the American health care system."

    In your dreams. Not only do Canadians and New Zealanders and Icelanders prefer their systems a whole lot more, the World Health Organization ranks the U.S. health care system 37th in the world. This is the major "inconvenient fact" head-in-the-sand GOPers continue to ignore.

    March 27, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Buck in NC

    I hope this is a step toward a real public option, with a lifting of the drug reimportation ban and the savings used to educate a generation of doctors and nurses. Then tackle some other problems: a. Recover much of the wealth stolen by the top 1% and the bank bailouts, b. establish a fee for derivitaves trades, and c. take oil off the commodites market to stop prices going up because of speculation (see a. and b.)

    March 27, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. NVa Native

    Yes, we all knew you and the rest of Repub punks could have done better, but you decided saying NO was all you would do. Basically going on "strike".
    And now when it's conveinent for you – you want a "do over". Now you want to do your job?!
    Screw you, Mr NO.

    March 27, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. Jay

    "we can do better" – no republicans, you can't, in fact you can't do anything

    March 27, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. Taylor

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

    March 27, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. lovable liberal

    Yeah, we can do better, but you can bet the Republicans won't be doing any of the improving.

    March 27, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. laura from Ontario

    I was in the hospital when Mitch McConnell started his assault on health care last summer. He knew a friend of a friend who died because they lived in Canada.

    Death Panels the 92 year old in the next bed was alive and imagine they kept checking on her to make sure she took her meds and helped her to eat. Nobody was holding a pillow over her face.

    I take exception to how our system has been maligned in the hopes of dashing one in the US. I think his rhetoric is a day old and a dollar short.
    And has nothing to so with the American people but all about trying to win an election.

    March 27, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. Ryan

    Yeah we could – we could put back in the PUBLIC OPTION so I don't feel so enslaved to my job. I'd love to move to a State with sunny weather but can't because nobody offers health insurance benefits like my current job and I can't afford it on my own – especially with a chronic illness... oh wait.. they can't discriminate against me anymore THANKS to Obama... too bad the bill didn't go further like he wanted.

    Thanks for nothing Republicans. Again.

    March 27, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. annie against biased news

    Your beloved dictator would not allow or concern any of the many ideas republicans had for those of you who are stupid enough to say why didn't the republicans do something. Did all of you idiots forget that demmies are the majority?

    March 27, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. Dave

    McConnell had his chance and instead of participating in the process, he and the GOP just grandstanded, hurled barbs, and obstructed at every turn. They could do better? Please. He and the rest of the incompetent Republicans couldn't care less if people in this country have access to quality and affordable health care.

    March 27, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. Mark L.

    The only thing the Grand Ol' Plunderers (GOP) can do is overthrow the existing US Government as we know it today and set up a totalitarian, facist government !! That is ALL !!

    March 27, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. Carmelle

    Whatever plan you would have would have to be approved by RL, GB, SP and the Tea Party.......

    Thanks but no thanks.

    March 27, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. lara

    If you wanted to do better Mitch, you had 8 years to do it, and you and your fellow republicans did exactly what you wanted to do, nothing.

    March 27, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Victoria

    Cooperation does not mean having it only your way. The last decade was totally friendly and open to Republican idealogy and all sorts of opportunities to do good works ... where did that time leave us?

    I now have hope of this nation moving forward to a place we can all be proud of. We now have a direction that puts the American people first, as we profess is our way.

    Some can try to stop progress by being against everything, or we can tweak the course together, and continue to move forward, with a better future in mind for all of our children ... to a good life after birth!

    March 27, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Carmelle

    Your plan was Medicare part D which is, as we are now finding out because big corps are whining about paying taxes on it now, a HUGE giveaway of 1 trillion dollars ....added the deficit

    March 27, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. haren

    I don't trust republican party and American people should not trust them.
    For average middle class American, republican party is disaster.
    I urge all independent to vote with some sense and throw all this bum in next election.
    And Mr. Mitch McConnell where were you when you had majority in both house?
    Why did not you tackle this health care reform with your dear issue of tort reform and across the state line?
    Just tell us why we should trust you to give you power again and just repeal this reform and not replace with any thing.
    My slogan for democrats to republican 'repeal and replace with what?'

    March 27, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. annie against biased news

    Government rationed health care bill is just a piece of paper legalizing slavery.

    March 27, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. haren

    Mr. Mitch McConnell do better for whom insurance company?

    March 27, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Derrick

    The Party of NO keeps saying they can do better... But they last 8 years does not say so.

    The Republicans (party of NO) had complete control for 6 of the 8 yrs Bush was in office and look at the mess they created.

    Action speaks louder than the empty words and minds that come from the GOP.

    March 27, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. Jim

    Had your chance for 10 years. You blew it because of your lack of leadership. Please resign.

    March 27, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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