Posted by Senator Jim DeMint
[Originally posted on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at RedState.com. Vote has now been schedule for 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21]
A defining moment is coming in this year's health care debate.
Yesterday, Democrat leaders announced they may soon bring Harry Reid's new health care bill to the Senate floor in an effort to grant the President's wish for a government takeover of our nation's health care by Christmas. This is in spite of the fact that 99 senators have never seen Reid's new bill that was written in secret. Reid even hinted he may rush to a vote before the bill's been public for 72 hours, as even Democrats have demanded.
To begin debate on this new version of Obamacare, Reid will play a shell game. He needs 60 senators to "vote to proceed" to an unrelated piece of legislation, and once he clears that hurdle he will strike that bill's text and insert his new health care bill. But don't be fooled by senators that will say they oppose a government takeover but just wanted to allow debate on health care, they are not being honest.
The simple fact is this: Any senator that votes to proceed to the Reid-Obama bill is voting for a government takeover of health care.
Why? Because, President Obama and Harry Reid cannot pass a government takeover without clearing 60 vote procedural hurdles in the Senate -- but they also know that vulnerable Democrats likely cannot win reelection if they vote for this unpopular bill. So they want all Democrats to stick together on the vote to proceed, then some Democrats will vote against final passage of the bill and claim they tried to stop it.
Senators who say they just want to allow for debate are trying to deceive their voters while giving President Obama the crucial votes he needs to pass a government takeover of health care.
Voters should be watching and remember who stands up for their freedom and who stands with the special interests who want to ram through this takeover.
Democrats have now offered five different versions of Obamacare (the first House bill, the second House bill, the Senate Finance bill, the Senate HELP bill, and now Reid's bill). And despite the nuances, every Democrat bill we've seen puts Washington in control of health care, slashes Medicare coverage for seniors, raises premiums for families, raises taxes, places bureaucrats between patients and doctors, punishes young adults who choose not to buy coverage, and opens the door to government rationing of care.
We know the Reid plan will be more of the same and cannot be fixed by a few amendments on the Senate floor. The attempt to give Washington control over one-sixth of our economy is rotten to its core. And any improvements made to the bill will be a mirage that will vanish as soon as the bill goes behind closed doors in conference with the Pelosi bill.
Americans have loudly and repeatedly rejected the president's government takeover of health care. It's time to for the Senate to listen, stop the shell games, and start over with real solutions that will provide every American the opportunity to afford, own and keep a health care plan that best meets their needs. To that end, I introduced the Health Care Freedom Plan earlier this year. It would give Americans hundreds of health plan options through interstate competition, create fair tax treatment for those who don't get their insurance from an employer, and provides real tort reform to stop frivolous lawsuits.
We can have a real debate about common sense solutions, but only if we first stop this government takeover. And we can stop this bill if we don't let Democrats try to have it both ways.
Don't let them vote for a government takeover of health care before they vote against it. The "vote to proceed" to Obamacare may be one of the most important votes any Senator takes. Make sure your senator knows you are watching.