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Public Statements

Health Care Reform

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, reclaiming my leader time, the longer the debate over health care goes on, the clearer it becomes that the problem the Democrats are having isn't with some of the provisions we keep hearing about on the news; their problem is the fundamental opposition of the American people to the core components of the bill--the core of the bill.

Americans oppose the Democratic plan because they know the final product is a colossal legislative mistake. Not only does this bill fail to achieve its primary goal of lowering the cost of health care, it makes matters worse by driving up premiums, raising taxes, and wrecking Medicare for seniors.

The bill is fundamentally flawed, and the American people know it can't be fixed. That is why they are asking us to stop and start over with the kind of commonsense, step-by-step reforms that will address the cost problems.

Fortunately, a growing number of Democrats are beginning to listen to the voices of the American people. We have, just today, a Washington Post poll indicating, once again, the polls are unanimous that the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to this bill, and seniors in particular, by a very wide margin, do not favor this bill.

So our friends on the other side of the aisle face a choice. They can either side with those who are making a call to history or they can side with their constituents who say a vote on this bill would be a historic mistake.

That is what is unfolding behind the scenes: As a handful of Democratic leaders press ahead in a blind rush of frantic dealmaking to find 60 votes by Christmas, a handful of other Democrats are wondering which side they want to be standing on when the dust settles--with those who are pushing them to support a bill they don't like or with the American people who are imploring them not to do it.

This is an important moment in the life of our Nation. This is one of those moments when the free decisions of a handful of elected leaders are the only difference between America going down one road or another. History will be made either way. History will be made either way. But in this case, as in many others from our history, Americans want history to show that a determined few took their side and triumphed over a powerful majority--a majority who clearly misread its mandate.

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