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Public Statements

The Democratic Plan

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the latest trillion-dollar, 1,000-page Democrat plan raises some questions--questions such as: What happens to Medicare?

Tens of millions of American seniors want to know.

Here is what we can say for sure.

The Democrat plan is a trillion-dollar experiment that cuts Medicare, raises taxes, and threatens the health care choices that millions of Americans now enjoy.

We know the Democrat plan will make massive cuts to Medicare--$500 billion worth--to fund more government spending.

We know Medicare Advantage benefits will be slashed almost in half, causing many of the 11 million seniors enrolled in it to lose benefits, such as hearing aid coverage and dental care.

We know it contains nearly $120 billion in cuts to hospitals that care for seniors, more than $40 billion from home health agencies, and nearly $8 billion from hospices.

And we know this: Medicare is already on the path to bankruptcy. Yet instead of trying to fix it, the Democrat plan is to use it as a piggy bank to pay for new government-run health care programs.

Republicans have tried to protect Medicare throughout this debate. Our amendments to do so were rejected in committee. We proposed an amendment to prevent cuts to skilled nursing facilities, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation, hospice care and home health care. They rejected it. We offered an amendment to strike cuts that wouldn't improve Medicare. They rejected it. We offered an amendment to eliminate an unaccountable commission that would have the power to decide payments to Medicare providers. They rejected it. This isn't reform, and America's seniors know it.

Americans are demanding that their voices are heard in this debate. They want their questions answered, particularly when it comes to Medicare. They don't want the status quo. But they don't want what Democrats are pushing either: a trillion-dollar experiment that cuts Medicare, raises taxes, limits choices, and makes health care more expensive. Americans have questions. They are not getting the answers they deserve.

I yield the floor.

The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Illinois is recognized.

Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, will the minority leader yield for a question?

Mr. McCONNELL. I say to my friend from Illinois, I have an appointment in my office. I am happy to yield the floor.


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