Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), for the third consecutive day this week, used his morning floor time on Wednesday to frame Democratic plans to include a public plan in health care reform legislation as the first step toward government-run health care and medical rationing.
McConnells remarks are a part of the growing Republican offensive on a health care reform package, which Democrats are hoping to bring to the floor in July. Republicans dont necessarily have the votes to stop President Barack Obama and the Democrats, but are hoping to influence the debate by winning the public relations battle.
Americans want health care reform. But this isnt what they have in mind. Americans dont want their health care denied or delayed, McConnell said. But once government health care is the only option, bureaucratic hassles, endless hours stuck on hold waiting for a government service rep, restrictions on care and rationing are sure to follow.
Obama and most Congressional Democrats favor the inclusion of a government-run, public plan option as a part of health care reform. Republicans, who are otherwise in favor of some sort of health care overhaul, tend to oppose such a policy.
The GOP fears that a public plan would eventually undercut private insurance and allow the federal government to control the health care industry, leading to delays, rationing and a diminishment in the quality of care. Democrats believe implementing a public plan is the only way to ensure that all Americans gain access to affordable, quality health care.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.