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Public Statements

Health Care Summit

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. MCCONNELL. Mr. President, earlier this week, the White House unveiled its latest iteration of the Democrat plan for health care reform, and, to put it quite simply, it was a major disappointment.

It was our hope that when the administration called for a health care summit at the White House, it would be an opportunity for both sides to come together and start over. Now it is perfectly clear the administration had something else in mind entirely.

The plan we saw Monday is hardly a starting off point for a bipartisan discussion on commonsense reforms. It is really just more of the same: a massive government scheme with all the flaws of the previous proposals that the American people have already seen and rejected. Changing the name and increasing the cost is not what Americans have been asking for, and it is certainly not reform.

To make matters worse, even as lawmakers head down to the White House for this health care summit tomorrow, Democrats on Capitol Hill are working behind the scenes on a plan aimed at jamming this massive health spending bill through Congress against the clear wishes of an unsuspecting public. What they have in mind is a last ditch legislative sleight of hand called reconciliation that would enable them to impose government-run health care for all on the American people, whether Americans want it or not. And we know that Americans do not, in fact, want it.

Americans have seen these proposals before. They do not want them. So this is the height of legislative arrogance. If you did not like the Cornhusker Kickback, get ready. This is the Cornhusker Kickback on steroids.

In light of all these behind the scenes efforts to get around the will of the people, it is hard to imagine what the purpose of Thursday's summit is. If the White House wants real bipartisanship, then it needs to drop the proposal it posted Monday, which is no different in its essentials than anything we have seen before, and start over. And they need to take this last-ditch reconciliation effort off the table once and for all.

Then we can work on the kind of reform Americans really want, step by step proposals that will actually get at the problem, which is cost. That is what the American people have been asking us to do for a year. If ever there were a time for the administration to show it is listening, it is now. Reform is too important. We cannot let this opportunity pass.

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