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 Americans opposed this legislation, and, now they’re clamoring to see it repealed and replaced.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

    Forget it! You lost big time!

    March 27, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Katie B in NC

    Nothing I've heard so far leads me to believe anything that comes out of this man's mouth. He has zero credibility.

    March 27, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Tired

    If you could do better why didn't you in the many years the Republicans had control of the Congress? Why didn't you work with the President to make it "better"? If you have/had such good ideas why didn't we hear them? All I heard was the world would end if healthcare passed. May each of you lose your job and your top notch healthcare along with it. Then tell me how much better you could do it or that it is not needed.

    March 27, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. John5252

    C'mon guys this kid just wants us to use "good english"

    Can't we just learn to use "good english"

    What's wrong with this country if we can't speak "good english"

    between how many times this kid said "um" in one sentence to the mis use of his modifiers, I think he should try swearing for a bit before he corrects someone else's use of speech.

    March 27, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Alberto

    You Reps. haven't done anything for health care in over a decade. And now you "can do better." Get real.

    March 27, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama has moved on to bigger and greater challenges while Mitch and his Republican buddies are stuck in a time zone, standing still, moving backwards and not doing nothing, I mean nothing.

    March 27, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. SC

    It is such a disgrace to look at that guy. "We can do better."? If Republicans think they can do better and why did not they do it and instead of waiting for the Democrats? I think it is a tragedy they think it is the right thing to do and yet not doing it.

    March 27, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. D. Bunker

    McConnell is a sorry excuse for a politician and human being. You had your chance, Mitch, and instead of acting like an adult you whined like a spoiled kid and ran home to mommy with your ball. Grow up and act like an adult.

    March 27, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Dave

    Just remember pro-lifers, that while conception may begin birth, life doesn't END when you are born. Take care of the living too! This bill does just that.

    March 27, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. J.C. - Independent 4 Public Option

    Of course, "we can do better (for corporations)." – GOP

    March 27, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Mike Mc

    hahahahahahahahahahahaha Mitch you're KILLING me!!! If I actually sat around watching Fox News all day and wasn't literate I might actually believe you.

    March 27, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. jbakaregit

    Mr. McConnell, the GOP had years to do something about HCR and did nothing.

    During the Bush years, you gave tax cuts to the rich, started 2 wars, let folks drown down there in New Orleans, historic corruption, torture, Halliburton no-bid contracts, crashed economy, etc. Not one good thing you did for America. You handed out billions for wars. The second anybody wants to invest in the majority of America, you start screaming "socialism, government takeover, marxism, communism...whatever."

    Mr. McConnell, just like HCR, your side thought you would defeat Obama, the Democrats, and the majority of America. You've already reached the same conclusion about November. You'll find that America will not reward you for naked obstruction, violence-inducing rhetoric, and and overall nasty/sour attitude.

    March 27, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Robert

    They can do better?


    They had 8 years to do something, ANYTHING, and did NOTHING...

    They had their chance. They had the opportunity to work with Obama...

    This is their own Waterloo... Karma is real.. What they wished for Obama ended up biting them on the butt..

    March 27, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. windrider

    "We can do better"? You had an entire year to "do better" but your party chose to oppose every single aspect of health care reform legislation. You had 12 years of Congressional control to "do better" and didn't come up with a single bill to improve access to health care. The Republican Party has had almost an entire century to "do better" and has done nothing but obstruct, delay, and destroy all attempts to reform health care access and coverage. We've already seen what the Republican Party can do regarding health care reform: absolutely NOTHING. We won't get fooled again, McConnell, by your empty promises, lies and fear-mongering. It's time for old fossils like McConnell to lie down and petrify.

    March 27, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. Bill in Austin

    You had your chance. Take Boehner and Cantor and go lick your wounds. You guys lost the last election for a reason. Your policies screwed up this country, and guess what, you have no new ideas?

    So what are you folks going to obstruct next? Perhaps if you were more concerned about the American public and less about the GOP and your political hides, you could actually do something beneficial and constructive?

    March 27, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. ross berg- Buffalo NY

    As a lifelong Republican I must say that unless we ditch this repeal lingo we"ll be driven further into the minority.

    If we allow the wingnuts like Palin and Limbaugh to establish our agenda then we'll certainly help the Dems avoid the drubbing in Nov. they'd otherwise be getting!!

    Of late, we've certainly been the gang that couldn't shoot straight!!!

    March 27, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. PaulC

    I certainly won't hold my breath for the Republicans to do better. They had 8 years under Bush to "do better" but could only manage to cut taxes to the wealthy, approve torture and began a disastrous war. Maybe in an alternate reality will the Republicans do better.

    March 27, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. Susan

    I see where the Republicans are already trying to take credit for the Health Care......they say they were for it long before Democrats were, well why didn't they do something about it when they had the chance when their Republican Presidents were in Office? If they were for it why did they fight so hard to have it Fail this time........because they didn't want the credit to go to a Democratic President, especially a Black LATE Republicans you have already labled yourselves as the PART OF NO and with all your continued stonewalling as Coburn is doing now to the unemployed you are cutting your own throats.........McCain and his promise to not work with this administration the rest of the year is another knot in your rope that is going to hang you all out to DRY......All of you trying to win over the Tea Baggers is going to be down fall.......we the people of this country will not let the radical right wing conservatives, the Klu Klux Klan, the Militias, The Tea Baggers, The Palin and Limbaugh Nut Cases, The Hate Groups take over this country..........and this is the direction the Republicans Party is going........

    March 27, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. WAW

    The Obama Healthcare plan is the same as the Republican alternative offered to Hillary Clinton's Universal Plan in the 1990's. But now they are against their own plan. Couldn't be politics could it? You can't lead these wingers to a solid platform and you will show just how splintered you are in upcoming elections. Do you really think the Democrats are not going to challenge every Republican candidate to justify his/her claims? Mitch could not get elected again if all his record was laid out for his wingers to see. The Democrats need to continue with their program. Wasn't it Nixon who said that in your heart you know he's right? Think on it Mitch!

    March 27, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. haren

    I wanted to make another point, lots of tea party guys comparing red states economy with blue states economy.
    My request to democrats in congress is to cut the federal funding for these red state, give them what they give it to fed instead of giving them 1.50 for each dollar they send.
    New jersey, New York are getting only 70 cent for each dollar they send it to fed.
    If we do that than we can do real comparision between blue and red states.

    March 27, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. Shine

    I am an American and I realize that the health care system needed some "tweaking" BUT NOT this way!!! This new health care law is going to be the downfall of our society as we know it!! Pelosi and Obama along with Reid need to be REPLACED!!!!!!

    March 27, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. 228rory

    but when you (Republicans) had control of the Congress, from 1994 – 2006, you did nothing! NOTHING!

    March 27, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. Adalbert

    What a stupid remark. Where were you in the past 10 years?

    March 27, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Michele

    If this were a year ago, someone might be dumb enough to think that McConnell had some ideas. As it is, we have seen what the Republicans want to do about improving health care...absolutely nothing. They had control of Congress and the White House for six long years, and health care never passed any of their lips. They do not care about us, and that has been made very clear to anyone willing to turn off Fox and the lies channel. They are now in panic mode trying to scare voters...too late, Mitch. Republicans are toast in November, including McCain, who will be lame duck after his primary loss.

    March 27, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. Joe

    Senator, when you get done sucking lemons, would you answer a couple of questions?
    The requirement that people buy health insurance was originally a Republican idea put forward as an alternative to the Clinton ideas in the 90s. Why are you against it now? Mitt Romney signed such a requirement into law in 2006. Are you opposed to Mitt Romney?
    What gives with you Republican'ts? Are you so obsessed with dissing and sabotaging Obama that you're willing to go against your own ideas once he accepts them?

    March 27, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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