Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, as Democratic leaders in Congress continue to insist that we are at some make-or-break moment in the health care debate, and that for some reason we need to pass a bill that raises taxes, raises premiums, and cuts Medicare, I would like to call attention to a notice we received just yesterday from the Congressional Budget Office informing us that they plan to issue a cost estimate today for the Senate-passed health care bill.
In other words, sometime today the CBO will release its final cost estimate on the health spending bill the majority passed on Christmas Eve. This is March 11. We passed that bill on Christmas Eve. We are now getting a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.
So our friends on the other side--every single one of them--voted for this enormous bill, a bill affecting the cost and quality of health care for every single man, woman, and child in America without knowing the full cost to the taxpayers.
Well, excuse me for noting the obvious, but this is no way to legislate on an issue of this importance. Month after month, we were told it was urgent to pass that bill--so urgent, apparently, that Democrats in Congress could not even wait to find out the effect the bill would have on the cost to the American people.
Now we are being told the same thing. Democratic leaders are telling their members they have to vote on this latest version of the same bill by Easter--the latest version of the same bill by Easter. When are we going to find out how much that one costs, Columbus Day?
Americans are not in any rush to pass this or any other 2,700-page bill that poses as reform but actually raises the cost of health care. Members of Congress should not be deceived by these theatrical attempts to create a sense of urgency about this legislation. The least that lawmakers can do is find out how much these bills will cost the taxpayers before they schedule a vote. They cannot have it both ways. They cannot say they are concerned about how much these bills cost and not even ask to see the pricetag.
The fact is, anybody who even considers voting for these health spending bills does not have lower costs as a priority because we know these bills are going to drive costs up, not down.