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Public Statements

Health Care Week XI, Day I

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. MCCONNELL. Mr. President, Senators will continue to hash out a health care bill in committee today, and anyone who tunes in will hear a dizzying amount of detail about what is in and what is out.

But it is worth noting that the basic shape of this legislation is already clear: Any bill that makes it to the Senate floor will include a heavy dose of tax hikes. Any bill that makes it to the floor will include massive cuts to Medicare. Any bill that makes it to the floor of the Senate will be about 1,000 pages long, cost about a trillion dollars, affect about one-sixth of the entire U.S. economy, and impact the health care of every single American, whether they like it or not.

And here is the other thing we know: Democrats don't want to give the American people the time they need to review all the details. We saw this last week when they rejected a request for a simple 72-hour review, which is hard for anyone who grasps the scope of this legislation to understand. Nor would they pledge to wait until we understand the full cost of this bill, before acting on it.

There is important work going on in the Finance Committee this week, but no one should lose sight of where the work is headed. What we know for sure is higher taxes when American families and businesses are struggling just to make ends meet, cuts to seniors' Medicare when the program is already going bankrupt, more spending and more debt when we are about to end the fiscal year just today with an annual deficit roughly equivalent to the deficits of the last 5 years combined--the deficit this fiscal year, ending today, will be roughly as much as the last 5 years combined--and a government intrusion into health care of every single American at a time when Americans are asking us to lower costs and lower premiums, not add new burdens to the system or wreck the care they already have and like.

We know the essentials of the health care bill already. Americans have every reason to be concerned.

I yield the floor.

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