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Public Statements

Health Care

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, as I noted last week, despite the repeated promises of President Obama, millions of people are losing their health insurance, health insurance they very much like and were assured that they could keep. It has been reported that so far 3.5 million Americans have lost their health insurance under ObamaCare. That includes over one-quarter of a million in Kentucky, one-third of a million people in Florida, and almost a million people in California. This is a serious problem that the President and congressional Democrats need to do something about. Unfortunately, they appear to be relying on half measures and creative accounting, not real solutions.

For example, we learned over the weekend that the administration's goal is to have the Web site serve only 80 percent of users, which is probably why our Democratic colleagues want to spend 100 percent of their time discussing other subjects, which brings us to the vote we will have today.


For the third time in this work period, the majority will have the Senate vote on yet another nominee to the DC Circuit. This is not because the court needs more judges. It is the least busy court in our entire country. In fact, it is far less busy now than it was when Senate Democrats pocket-filibustered President Bush's nominee to that court, Peter Keisler, for 2 whole years. This is according to our Democratic colleagues' own standards.

Our colleagues are having the Senate spend time on this because doing so furthers their twin political goals: first, to quote a member of the Democratic leadership, to fill up that court because the President's agenda, according to an administration ally, runs through the DC Circuit; second, to divert as much attention as possible from the problem-plagued ObamaCare rollout at this formative stage of the 2014 campaign, according to published reports. In other words, rather than focusing on keeping their commitment to the American people, they are focusing on what appeals to their base. Rather than change the law that is causing so many problems for so many, they want to change the subject.

Unfortunately, the Senate will not be voting on legislation to allow Americans to keep their health insurance if they like it, as they were promised again and again and again. Rather, we will be voting on another nominee for a court that does not have enough work to do. The Senate ought to be spending its time dealing with a real crisis, not a manufactured one. We ought to be dealing with an ill-conceived law that is causing millions of Americans to lose their health insurance. Instead, we will spend our time today on a political exercise designed to distract the American people from the mess that is ObamaCare, rather than trying to fix it.

Last week I also suggested that if our Democratic colleagues are going to ignore the fact that millions of people are losing their health insurance plans, they should at least be working with us to fill judicial emergencies that actually exist, rather than complaining about fake ones. I noted there are nominees on the Executive Calendar who would fill actual judicial emergencies, unlike any of the DC Circuit nominations. Several of them, in fact, have been pending on the calendar longer than the nomination on which we will be voting today. Another week has gone by without any action by the majority to fill these actual judicial emergencies. Rather than work with us to schedule votes on them in an orderly manner as we have been doing, the majority chose to leapfrog over them in order to concoct a crisis on the DC Circuit so it can distract Americans from the failings of ObamaCare.

Unfortunately, our friends appear to be more concerned with playing politics than with actually solving problems. So like last week, I will vote no on this afternoon's political exercise. As I said last week, I hope the Senate will focus on what the American people care about rather than spend its time trying to distract them.

I yield the floor.


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