Americans Weren't Kidding When They Said They Opposed the Health Spending Bill

Statement

By:  Mitch McConnell
Date: Aug. 4, 2010
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered the following statement Wednesday regarding the health care bill:

"This morning's papers carry an important message for Washington, a message that many of us have been trying to get across for more than a year. If there was any doubt that Americans are tired of being told that their views are irrelevant by the people they elected to represent them in Washington, last night's vote in Missouri should dispel it.

"All throughout the health care debate, Democrat leaders in Washington told themselves they could do what they want, and then persuade Americans after the fact that it was okay. Last night, the voters in Missouri overwhelmingly rejected that notion. The people of Missouri have sent a message to Washington: enough is enough.

"They rejected the apparent belief by the current administration and Democrat leaders in Congress that they know best -- that distant bureaucrats and lawmakers inside the Beltway have a better grasp of what ails people in places like St. Louis than they do, and that lawmakers here have a right to impose their prescriptions on the people out there whether those people like it or not.

"More specifically, the voters of Missouri sent a clear message that the federal government has no business forcing people to buy health insurance against their will.

"And I applaud them for it.

"Throughout the health care debate, Republicans heard the concerns of our constituents and insisted on the kind of commonsense solutions they were asking for, solutions that would actually do something to lower the cost of care. Democrats preferred to do their own thing. They said let's raise taxes and cut Medicare to expand government, and then try to convince people it was in their best interests.

"Well, the voters of Missouri showed us last night that Americans won't allow this blatant power grab to stand without a fight. They don't think bureaucrats in Washington have a right to force them to buy government-designed health insurance. And they don't think states should be forced to put millions of new people into Medicaid any more than they think we should bail out the states again this week with billions more in spending at a time when neither we nor the states can afford it.

"Washington needs to take care of its own fiscal mess, not deepen it by bailing out the states. And we need to start listening to the concerns of the American people rather than trying to force them to go along with far-reaching laws they don't want, either through unpopular legislation or misleading p.r. campaigns like the one we saw earlier this week in which the administration sought to convince seniors that its health care plan wouldn't do what we all know it would.

"Americans weren't kidding when they said they said they opposed this health care bill. And they're not going away. This is just the beginning. Some of us have been saying it for more than a year: the American people will be heard. Whether it's the failed Stimulus, the health care bill, or the financial regulatory bill, Americans are more intent than ever on reversing the trend of centralizing more power in Washington. They're alarmed at the fact that the federal government is now for the first time in our history the single largest source of revenue for the states. They know that with more power in Washington comes less accountability. And they're fighting back.

"The lesson is clear: Americans expect the people they elect to put their interests and the interests of the country first. It's time to follow through on the kinds of changes Americans actually want to see. It's about solving the crises in front of us, instead of using them to force a vision of America that Americans don't share."