Isakson Delivers Weekly Republican Address

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today released the following weekly Republican address. The address is available in both audio and video format.

Audio of the address is available here

Video of the address is available here

Full transcript of Senator Isakson’s address:

“Hello, I'm Senator Johnny Isakson from Georgia.

“First, I want to send my condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in the floods that have devastated my home state this past week.

“I am working with Senator Saxby Chambliss, Governor Sonny Perdue and the administration to bring federal assistance to those who have suffered damages.

“I’d like to now discuss the health care debate in Washington that folks in my state and people all across this country have been watching very closely. 

“Americans have been calling us and emailing us.

“They’ve packed our town hall meetings.

“They’ve even marched on the National Mall in Washington.

“Their message has been loud, and it has been clear: They don't like the direction of this health care debate is headed in.

“They get anxious when they see the President and the Democrats in such a rush to pass a 1,000-page bill to overhaul our health care system.

“They get anxious when they see the word billions and trillions to describe the cost because they know Washington doesn't have that kind of extra cash lying around.

“They know they can only mean one thing – more debt and higher taxes.

“They get anxious when they hear Democrats want to cut hundreds of billions from Medicare because they know you can't cut costs without cutting benefits for our seniors.

“They get anxious when they hear public option, trigger, or co-op, because they know those are just different labels that can lead to the same thing -- government control of our health care system.

“They know government-run health care doesn't work in Canada or in England, and it won’t work in America, either.

“How did the Democrats respond to all these concerns this week when they unveiled their latest version of this bill?

“They didn’t.  They ignored them altogether. 

“The Senate Finance Committee took up yet another health care bill that looks an awful lot like the Democrats' earlier proposals.

“It would still result in a major expansion of government into our health care, and the cost will be $1 trillion, $700 billion over 10 years when the bill is fully implemented.

“It would still cut Medicare benefits for our seniors.

“It would still expand Medicaid dramatically, forcing my state and states across the country to pay billions for their share of the expansion.

“And it would still impose taxes on virtually every American and small business.

“If you have insurance, you get taxed.

“If you don’t have insurance, you get taxed.

“If you’re an employer who cannot afford to provide health insurance to your employees, you get taxed.

“Manufacturers of medical devices such as hearing aids will get taxed. That means anyone who needs these devices will pay higher prices.

“I ran a small business in Georgia for 22 years, and I know what it’s like to have to make payroll during tough times.

“The kind of massive tax increases proposed by the Democrats is exactly the wrong approach for our families, our small businesses and our economy, especially in a recession. 

“Republicans believe the key to reforming health care is strengthening the doctor-patient relationship by using choice and competition – rather than rationing and restrictions – to contain costs and ensure access to affordable health care.

“Republicans also favor proposals that emphasize wellness and disease management, as well as proposals that allow portability and don’t reject people based on pre-existing conditions.

“And Republicans want common-sense medical liability reform to eliminate frivolous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals.

“This latest proposal from the Democrats calls for only a non-binding ‘Sense of the Senate’ on medical liability. This is lip service that will do nothing to lower health care costs.

“Americans are rightly concerned about the rush to pass a massive overhaul that will raise their taxes, lower their quality of care and put government between them and their doctor.

“They also are concerned about the heavy-handed approach the Democrats have taken, such as demonizing regular citizens for asking questions about their plans and imposing a gag order on insurers for suggesting anyone might lose benefits under the Democrats’ plan.

“The American people expect us to get this right and to do it in an open, honest and bipartisan debate.

“That’s what they deserve. 

“But, that’s not what they’re getting from the Democrats on Capitol Hill.

“Thank you and God bless you and God bless the United States of America.”