DEMS VS. DEMS ON HEALTH CARE: GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER DRAWS HEAT FROM BLUE DOGS, DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS
LEADING DEM: “MANY OF US THINK WE SHOULD SCRAP IT AND START OVER.”
July 20, 2009
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
Coming off the Congressional Budget Office’s announcement that the Democrats’ government takeover of health care will drive up costs and add hundreds of billions to the deficit, President Obama and his allies are scrambling to try and build support for the expensive plan. In fact, Washington Democrats are so desperate to take attention off of a government takeover’s costs to consumers and all taxpayers, the President is planning a television blitz and nationwide barnstorming tour. But the problem is, the more the President stumps for his government takeover of health care, the more the American people oppose it. According to a Washington Post story titled “Poll Shows Obama Slipping on Key Issues; Approval Rating on Health Care Falls Below 50 Percent,” a new Washington Post/ABC poll shows that the Democrats’ health care proposal has lost significant support over the last few months. Specifically:
- For the first time, less than 50 percent approve of President Obama’s handling of health care (49-44). A third of respondents “strongly disapprove” while only a quarter “strongly approve.”
- There was a 15-point jump in disapproval since April when his approval on the issue was 57-29.
- Independents now disapprove by 44-49, down from 53-30 at the 100-day mark, according to the Post article.
A major hurdle for the White House is that some of those expressing the most concerns about the Democrats’ government takeover are men and women from within the President’s own Party: Democratic governors and Blue Dog Democrats in Congress. Following is just a sampling of what Democrats across the country have been saying in recent days about the President’s government-run health care proposal:
“Governor Phil Bredesen, a Tennessee Democrat, said he feared Congress was about to bestow ‘the mother of all unfunded mandates.’’’ (New York Times, July 20, 2009)
“‘As a governor, my concern is that if we try to cost-shift to the states, we’re not going to be in a position to pick up the tab,’ said Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington, a Democrat.” (New York Times, July 20, 2009)
“‘I’m personally very concerned about the cost issue, particularly the $1 trillion figures being batted around,’ said Governor Bill Richardson, the New Mexico Democrat who served in the Clinton Cabinet and ran for president against Obama.” (New York Times, July 20, 2009)
“‘There’s a concern about whether they have fully figured out a revenue stream that would cover the costs, and that if they don’t have all the dollars accounted for, it will fall on the states,’ said Governor Bill Ritter Jr., a Colorado Democrat.” (New York Times, July 20, 2009)
“[Rep. Jared] Polis fears the levy would hurt small, family-owned businesses, which often pay individual income taxes, rather than corporate taxes. ‘The surcharge is a bit of a flawed concept,’ he said. Mr. Polis is among 22 freshmen Democrats who warned party leaders in a letter Thursday they are ‘extremely concerned’ about the surtax, especially its impact on small businesses. Mr. Polis and two other Democrats joined Republicans to vote against the bill Friday in the House Education and Labor Committee.” (Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2009)
“Conservative Blue Dog Democrats have threatened to block the bill unless changes are made. The group, led by Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, said problems in health care cannot be fixed ‘by simply pouring more money into a broken system.’” (San Francisco Chronicle, July 20, 2009)
“‘Nobody is giving it very good marks right now,’ said Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), a senior Blue Dog. ‘Many of us think we should scrap it and start over.’” (Roll Call, July 20, 2009)
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) echoed Rep. Boyd in an op-ed this morning on Yahoo News, when he urged Democrats to shelve their costly government takeover and work with Republicans on a real health care reform plan to reduce costs and expand Americans’ coverage to quality care. The concerns being voiced by Democratic governors and Blue Dogs echo the warnings issued last month when GOP Govs. Jim Douglas (VT) and Mike Rounds (SD) joined Republican congressional leaders on Capitol Hill to warn that the health care legislation being discussed by Washington Democrats would hurt, not help, the American people.
With the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warning about a government takeover’s costs to families, small businesses, and all taxpayers and Democratic officeholders expressing the same concerns, isn’t it time for President Obama and his Democratic allies in Washington to stop their desperate attempts to build support for this flawed plan – and start working with Republicans in a bipartisan way to give Americans better access to affordable health care?
REPUBLICAN LEADER PRESS OFFICE
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH)
H-204, THE CAPITOL
(202) 225-4000 | gopleader.gov