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Public Statements

Health Care Week XI, Day II

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, americans have been watching the health care debate play out in various committees in Congress, and they are wondering where it's all headed. I will make it easy for them. The final bill is going to cost about a trillion dollars. It is going to include $ 1/2 trillion in cuts to seniors' Medicare in order to create a new government program. It is going to raise hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes on individuals and businesses. And it is going to expand the government's role in the health care of every single American, whether they like it or not, limiting choices and leading to the same kind of denial and delay we have seen in other countries.

And then there is the issue of rushing through a bill and denying the American people the chance to read it. Imagine that, a trillion dollars out of the taxpayers' wallets for a bill that will affect the health care of every single American, and the majority has already voted to deny a mere 72-hours of public review before voting on it. This is outrageous, and hopefully this is not the way the majority decides to go forward.

One group that has become increasingly vocal in its criticism of this legislation is our Nation's Governors. Over the course of this debate, at least one in three of them have issued statements expressing their urgent concerns about a proposed expansion of Medicaid, which will force them either to cut services, raise taxes, or both. That is on top of the tax hikes that come about on the Federal level as a result of this bill.

One Democrat Governor had this to say of the Medicaid proposal: ``..... it's very scary for governors to be saying as soon as the revenues get back there, the Federal Government is going to come in and say here's how you're going to spend your new money.''

Governor Schwarzenegger of California says he won't support Federal health care reform proposals that impose billions of dollars in new costs on California.

Governor Crist of Florida says the proposed Medicaid expansion would have a crippling effect on Florida's State economy.

Governor Linda Lingle of Hawaii says the proposed Medicaid expansion would be tantamount to mandating a tax increase on every resident of Hawaii ..... and further harm residents who are struggling to make ends meet.

Idaho Governor ``Butch'' Otter calls the proposal ``an ..... irresponsible effort to shift a substantial and unmanageable financial burden to the states.''

Those are just a few of the comments we have heard from Governors. They are issuing the same kind of dire warnings about the proposed health care legislation that Americans have been sounding for months.

The fact is, supporters of this legislation know that most Americans oppose it. That is why they are not listening. And that is why they are trying to rush it through without giving anybody a chance to study the details. The American people understand these proposals. They understand the strategy. And they are not happy about either.

I yield the floor.


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