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Wicker Continues Calling for New Approach to Health Care Reform


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., yesterday joined Sid Salter on the SuperTalk Mississippi network to discuss the need to scrap the Democrats' health care bill and start over on a step-by-step approach. Below are some of the key excerpts from the interview:

On why moderate House Democrats should not vote in favor of the Senate-passed health care bill, which they would be asked to do under the "reconciliation" process:
* "And apparently it's going to come down to about 30 Democrats on the House side who have to decide if they want to take a chance on voting for this very big and very expensive bill on the hope and wish and promise that somehow the president can sign it into law one day, and the Senate will [pass] a bill to fix all of the egregious errors and flaws in that bill."
* "I don't think they [House Democrats] can be assured that we can correct all these mistakes - that we can correct the great, huge favor done to union health plans as opposed to the ones owned by the rest of Americans. … I think we can assure House members that we cannot fix the abortion language. The [pro-life] House language on abortion is superior to the Senate language, and I think if they pass the Senate bill and the president signs it, it's going to amount to a huge reversal in federal policy. We will be paying for abortions with federal tax dollars for the first time in two decades."

On states' new Medicaid mandate:
* "This bill, even at its best, is a huge mandate on the state legislature in terms of Medicaid. According to the Senate bill, coverage would be expanded under Medicaid, but the states have to pay their share of it. Mississippi can't afford another additional Medicaid patch. We have a hard enough time as it is of paying for what we are already obligated to under Medicaid."
On market competition being better than government intervention:
* "Healthcare is really the most important domestic issue of my 16 years in the House and Senate, and during the next two to three weeks this Congress will make a decision about whether we move towards European socialism or try to tackle this healthcare issue the old tried-and-true American way of injecting more competition and more choices."

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