Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) discusses Republican ideas for reforming health care and explains why the Democrats’ plans are unwise.
Sen. Kyl notes that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said that the Democrats’ health plans would “add additional onto an already unsustainable system.” Further, Sen. Kyl says, the Democrat plans would “empower Washington, not doctors and patients, to make health care decisions. And [it] would impose a new tax on working families during a recession.”
Here’s the full transcript of Senator Kyl’s address:
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“Hello. I’m Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl, of Arizona.
“Republicans believe all Americans should have access to quality health care and that we must find ways to reduce health care costs.
“The debate in Washington is about how we can achieve these goals.
“Republicans have put forward common-sense ideas, including rooting out Medicare and Medicaid fraud, reforming medical liability laws to discourage frivolous lawsuits, strengthening wellness and prevention programs that encourage healthy living, and allowing small businesses to band together and purchase health insurance like large corporations do.
“These changes do not require government takeover of the healthcare system, or massive new spending, job-killing taxes, or rationing of care.
“Democrats in Congress have a different approach. Their plan would increase spending by more than two trillion dollars when fully implemented, and would, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, “’add additional costs onto an already unsustainable system.’
“It would empower Washington, not doctors and patients, to make health care decisions and would impose a new tax on working families during a recession. A study by the respected Lewin Group shows it would also move millions of people who are happy with their current insurance to a new government plan.
“They propose to pay for this new Washington-run health care system by dramatically raising taxes on small business owners. Small businesses create jobs — approximately two-thirds of new jobs in the last decade.
“With a shaky economy and the need for new jobs, the last thing the President and the Congress should do is impose new taxes on America’s small businesses. New taxes on small business would cripple job creation, especially jobs for low-wage earners.
“This week, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office told the Senate Budget Committee that the health care-reform measures drafted by Democrats would worsen our economic outlook by increasing deficits and driving our nation more deeply into debt. So, there’s good reason to be skeptical when the President tells us we need to pass the Democrats’ bill to help the economy.
“The President and Congressional Democrats have even proposed cutting Medicare to pay for their plan.
“How can we justify dipping into funds for seniors’ care to pay for a new government plan, especially since Medicare is already in financial trouble? This would ultimately lead to shortages, rationing, and the elimination of private-plan choices—something our seniors rightly fear.
“These are not the right steps to achieving the reform Americans want.
“But the President and some Democrats insist we must rush this plan through. Why? Because the more Americans know about it, the more they oppose it. Something this important needs to be done right, rather than done quickly.
“We know Americans would prefer us to work together to ensure access to affordable quality health care for all. But Americans do not want a government takeover of health care that will jeopardize their current coverage, ration care, and create mountains of new debt and higher taxes.
“We urge Democrats to support a plan that would lead to real reform and include the innovative ideas Republicans have put forward that would cut costs, improve access, and preserve the kind of care that millions of Americans already have and like. That’s the kind of reform Americans would be sure to support.”