WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday regarding the importance of getting it right on health care reform:
“First, I want to welcome back my good friend the Majority Leader and all of our other colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I know I always enjoy spending these last weeks of the summer back home meeting with constituents and hearing their concerns.
“This year, most of us got an earful, and I hope the experience has an effect on our work here moving forward. Health care reform is clearly a critical issue for many Americans, and I think we have an obligation to show them we’ve been listening closely to their concerns.
“At this point, there really should be no doubt where the American people stand: the status quo is not acceptable, but neither are any of the proposals we’ve seen from the White House or Democrats in Congress.
“The White House has attempted to retool its message on health care many times. It should be clear by now that the problem isn’t the sales pitch. The problem is what they’re selling.
“Over the past several weeks, I’ve visited with a lot of doctors, nurses, seniors, hospital workers, small businessmen and women, and a whole lot of others citizens across Kentucky and throughout the country. None of them would call our current health care system perfect. But all of them are worried about so-called reforms that would undermine the things they like about the American health care system.
“The American people are asking us to start over. They want reforms, but they want the right reforms, not some grand scheme that increases the national debt, expands the federal government, raises taxes, cuts seniors’ benefits, and forces Americans off the plans they currently have and like. They want reforms that work within the system we’ve got.
“We’ll have a lot of work to do in the weeks ahead. But these past few weeks have given all of us something valuable. They’ve given us real clarity about the direction Americans want us to take — and just as importantly, the direction they don’t want us to take. Now it’s our turn to show them that we’ve been listening, and to act.”