Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I previously had an opportunity to welcome my friend, the majority leader, back and welcome all our other colleagues from an active month in August. I know we always enjoy spending this time with our constituents and hearing their particular concerns. This year, most of us got an earful, and I hope the experience has an effect on our work as we move forward.
Health care reform is clearly a critical issue for many Americans, and I think we have an obligation to show them we have been listening closely to their concerns.
At this point, there should be no doubt about where the American people stand: The status quo is not acceptable but neither are any of the proposals we have seen from the White House or the Democrats in Congress so far.
The White House has attempted to retool its message on health care many times. It should be clear by now that the problem is not the sales pitch. The problem is what they are selling.
Over the past several weeks, I have visited with a lot of doctors, nurses, seniors, hospital workers, small business men and women and a whole lot of other citizens across Kentucky and, for that matter, throughout the country. None of them would call our current health care system perfect. But all of them are worried about so-called reforms that would undermine the things they like about the American health care system.
The American people are asking us to start over. They want reforms, but they want the right reforms, not some grand scheme that increases the national debt, expands the Federal Government, raises taxes, cuts seniors' benefits, and forces Americans off the plans they currently have and like. They want reforms that work within the system we have.
We have a lot of work to do in the weeks ahead, but these past few weeks have given us all something valuable. They have given us real clarity about the direction Americans want us to take and, as importantly, the direction they do not want us to take. Now it is our turn to show them we have been listening and to act.
Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
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