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Public Statements

Health Care

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, amid all the various crises Americans face at the moment, one of the most exasperating has to be the increasingly high cost of health care. The American people do not understand how an administration that devoted more than a year talking about health care could end up with a bill that actually raises the cost of care instead of lowering it.

Seniors are particularly upset about this legislation, and that is why the White House is staging an event today aimed at convincing them they are actually getting a good deal. But seniors are right to be skeptical. They were told this law would strengthen Medicare, when, in fact, it takes $ 1/2 trillion out of Medicare to fund a new government program. They were also told that if they liked their plan, they could keep it. Yet now we hear that millions of seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage benefits they already have and like as a result of the Democratic health care bill.

The centerpiece of today's event is a $250 rebate check the administration will pass out to the fraction--fraction--of seniors who qualify for it. I am sure anyone who gets these checks is happy to take that extra cash, especially in the current economy. What the administration, however, will not mention at today's event is that for every senior who gets a check, more than three other seniors will see an increase in their prescription drug insurance premiums. In other words, behind every $250 check is more than three seniors who will be paying more as a result of this bill. The reason for this is that the health care bill Democrats forced on Americans earlier this year requires higher government-mandated minimum standards for everyone. Those who opted for anything below that minimum will now see their premiums go up, and the number of seniors in this category far, far outnumbers those getting a check. The administration can tout the check it is giving out to some seniors, but by failing to mention those seniors for whom it is causing rates to go up, it is hiding the whole truth.

That has been the story all along about this bill--a lot of promises that could not be kept. That is why the story now is not the bill itself but the administration's broken promises. Americans never wanted this bill. They never wanted it in the first place. And they are reminded every day why they opposed it.

Madam President, I yield the floor.

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