U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the failure of Obamacare and efforts to repeal the law:
“I’m not sure if you’ve got a fax machine at home. Not many Americans do anymore. Neither do a lot of small businesses.
“So it seems a bit odd to tell small businesses they need to fax in – fax in – enrollment forms for Obamacare. But that’s just what the Obama Administration is now doing.
“Well, if I might paraphrase the President: The ’80s called, and they want their health policy back.
“Now, to be fair, snail mail is also an option. And it looks like the President’s people will try to have the issue fixed soon — despite passing the law more than three years ago.
“But then again, this is the same President who told us that Obamacare is ‘working the way it’s supposed to.’ And that those who already have health care won’t see many changes under this law. The same guy who promised us his health care ideas would make Americans’ premiums lower, and that they’d be able to keep the plans they liked. So forgive me for a being a little skeptical, given how these other rosy scenarios have played out.
“I’m not the only skeptic out there.
“Just ask the folks who’ve already gotten laid off or seen their hours cut.
“Ask the graduate who can’t find anything but a part-time job.
“Ask the 20-something who’s going to lose her employer health plan and pay more in the exchanges.
“The reality simply does not match up with the rhetoric. And that includes the President’s remarks yesterday in Maryland. He said there’s no ‘widespread evidence’ that Obamacare is hurting jobs. That’s actually what he said: no ‘widespread evidence.’ We all know the President was hanging around with Bill Clinton the other day. What we didn’t know was that he was getting pointers on syntax.
“It makes you wonder – what would constitute ‘widespread evidence’ of job loss in the President’s mind?
“I mean, just yesterday his Press Secretary dismissed reports of a company dropping health insurance for its 55,000 employees as just ‘an anecdote.’
“Maybe that’s how things look from the South Lawn.
“It looks a lot different if you just lost the health plan you liked and wanted to keep.
“And, as Senator Moynihan used to tell us, data is the plural of anecdote. There are just too many stories about the impact of Obamacare – far too many to be dismissed with the wave of a hand.
“Ironically, the same day the President was painting more rosy scenarios in Maryland, the Administration announced yet another delay in this law’s implementation.
“That’s about the time we found out about the fax machines. And all that follows the revelation of yet more exchange problems – this time with an exchange here in D.C.
“You might be able to take any one of the many Obamacare problems in isolation and explain it away, say it doesn’t matter, call it just an ‘anecdote.’
“But what we’re getting here is a constant drip-drip, paired with the effects we’re seeing on jobs and health care and the economy.
“And it all adds up to one thing: a law in trouble. A law that needs to be repealed.
“That’s the goal of every member on this side. We’re united on the need to repeal Obamacare. We want to replace it with sensible, bipartisan reforms that will actually work. And in a few minutes, each and every one of us will vote against funding Obamacare.
“The American people want this bill repealed. Republicans want it repealed. I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of our Democrat colleagues secretly want it repealed.
“The problem here is that we can’t get that done unless some of our friends on the other side are prepared to step up and work with us on this issue.
“That doesn’t mean we’ll give up the fight if they don’t. We won’t. There are a lot of other things we can do in the meantime. For instance, we can follow the Administration’s lead in offering an Obamacare delay for the American people. After all, the Administration seems to think businesses deserve a break from Obamacare. Doesn’t the middle class deserve the same treatment?
“Republicans think so. And I think we might be able to convince enough Democrats to join us on that – to help us provide fairness to the middle class.
“Yesterday, one Democrat Senator already signaled his willingness to delay some of the worst aspects of the law as well. He called a delay for the American people ‘very reasonable and sensible.’
“And he posed a question: ‘Don’t you think it’d be fair?’
“Well, don’t you?
“That’s a question for my Democrat colleagues – many of whom know how badly this law is hurting their constituents. Isn’t that just the fair thing to do?
“Of course it is.
“So I’m calling for Democrat Senators to put the middle class ahead of the President’s pride. I’m calling for them to help us pass a delay for everyone.
“We’ve already filed legislation that would do just that. A bipartisan majority of the House supports it. Let’s work together to do it. Then, once we get that done, let’s keep working to get rid of this law and replace it with real reforms. Not with ideas from the 1980s. But with common-sense, step-by-step reforms that will actually lower costs for the American people.
“Let’s spare them from this terrible law.”