Graham Votes Against Democrats Health Care Bill

Press Release

By:  Lindsey Graham
Date: Dec. 24, 2009
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement after Senate passage of health care reform. The vote was 60-39 with Graham voting against the legislation.

"This bill dramatically increases government control of our nation's health care. It raises taxes over $500 billion and cuts Medicare by $464 billion. At the end of the day, the real-world impact of this legislation is that 80 percent of Americans will find themselves in some form of government-run, government-controlled health care.

"The fact that 4 out of 5 Americans will be in government-controlled health care is an ominous sign. I can say with certainty the remaining 20 percent will soon be asked, if not required, to follow. I believe we should be pushing for more private sector choice in health care - not government dominance.

"If you want an idea of how bad this bill is, just look at the number of Democratic Senators who inserted special provisions exempting their states and businesses from the effects of this legislation. They know it's going to be devastating.

"Written behind closed doors in backrooms of the Capitol - the legislation completely exempts one state, Nebraska, from paying for expanded Medicaid coverage, a requirement imposed on the 49 states. This provision, if not unprecedented, is certainly among the most troubling to have ever passed the Senate.

"In the state of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield will be exempted from paying certain taxes. In the state of Florida, seniors who enjoy the benefits of participating in Medicare Advantage will be protected from losing that coverage, a benefit not provided to seniors in other states.

"The legislation is loaded with similar provisions. And it's certainly not the way we should be legislating on an issue as important as health care, which comprises one-sixth of our national economy.

"Without a doubt, the health care policy contained in this bill is bad medicine for America and the Senate's actions were the worst of Washington politics."