Democrats blast McConnell for ‘lying’ about health reform
After releasing their sweeping health care bill in the Senate Wednesday, Democrats are on the attack with a video montage “calling out” GOP leader Mitch McConnell for what they describe as his dishonest effort to obfuscate and kill the legislation.
“The Republican Party is going to have to answer to voters for opposing health insurance reform… all for the sake of politics,” said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan, in a statement to RAW STORY.
The clip, titled “Mitch McConnell: Lying On Health Reform,” and website carrying it feature various sources refuting McConnell’s assertions that the Democratic plan will cut Medicare, drive private insurers out of business, force government bureaucrats between doctors and patients, and lead to a single-payer insurance system.
It rebuffs his claim that a public option “may cost you your life,” and includes footage of physician and former Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist saying “what the Obama administration is doing is not socialized medicine.” It also slams McConnell for having “cited discredited ‘experts'” — including a GOP strategist whose assertions have been taken apart by FactCheck.org.
“It’s clear that we need to slow down,” McConnell is featured as saying. Jen O’Malley Dillon, the DNC’s Executive Director, claimed that is a ruse to “bury reform under endless delays and distortions.”
“McConnell seems willing to use every trick in the book to delay a fair debate on reform,” said Dillon, in an email to constituents Thursday. “Each day reform is postponed is another day for him to attack it with another distortion. It’s a desperate gambit to confuse the American people, derail the effort in Congress, and block reform.”
This new offensive may be an attempt by DNC to quell rising public skepticism over their legislation. President Obama’s handling of health care now faces higher disapproval (49 percent) than approval (47 percent) for the first time in his presidency, a Washington Post poll found this week. The bill faces a tough challenge in the Senate as Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman and several Democrats — including Sens. Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, and Blanche Lincoln — might block it from even reaching a vote.
McConnell and other Republicans have been fiercely and consistently critical of the Democratic proposal for months, saying it will drive up premiums, increase the federal deficit and lead to single-payer insurance. In a testament to their resolute disapproval, only one House Republican (out of 177) voted for the narrowly successful bill earlier this month, while 39 Democrats — mostly representing conservative districts — rejected it.
The clip opens and closes with President Obama’s warning to opponents of reform in his September 17, 2009 speech to Congress: “If you misrepresent what’s in our plan, we’ll call you out,” he said.