Isakson Uses GOP Address to Attack Health Care Plans

Posted September 26, 2009 at 5:00am

In the weekly Republican address, Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia hammered on themes Republicans have been emphasizing for months about President Barack Obama’s health initiative — namely that the plans moving in Congress would explode the deficit and gut Medicare.People “get anxious when they see the word[s] ‘billions and trillions’ to describe the cost because they know Washington doesn’t have that kind of extra cash lying around,— Isakson said. “They know they can only mean one thing — more debt and higher taxes,— he continued. “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.—Isakson also slammed Democratic proposals for a “trigger— that would launch a public insurance option and for cooperatives designed to provide insurance choices, saying people “know those are just different labels that can lead to the same thing — government control of our health care system.—Isakson charged legislation proposed by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) would also raise costs and harm Medicare, calling it “yet another health care bill that looks an awful lot like the Democrats’ earlier proposals.—He singled out a recent controversy over an effort by the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate what it says are “misleading— statements about Obama’s health proposal made by the insurer Humana to its beneficiaries. Isakson said HHS was seeking to impose “a gag order on insurers for suggesting anyone might lose benefits under the Democrats’ plan.— Isakson’s message contrasted with Obama’s weekly address, which the president devoted to a review of his week away from his domestic agenda, including several days at the United Nations followed by a meeting of the G-20 that wrapped up Friday.Obama said that at the G-20 “the world’s major economies agreed to continue our effort to spur global demand to put our people back to work.— He touted what he called “an historic agreement to reform the global financial system— that would ensure “we never face a crisis like this again.—Obama also pointed to steps taken to combat global warming. “I am proud that the G-20 nations agreed to phase out $300 billion worth of fossil fuel subsidies,— he said.The president described efforts at the U.N. earlier in the week to curb the spread of nuclear weapons, including warnings to Iran that it must take steps to show the peaceful intent of its nuclear program as Oct. 1 negotiations approach.“All of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany, have made it clear that Iran must fulfill its responsibilities,— he said.