NRCC - What Are Dems Saying?

The Reviews are In: What Democrats Are Saying about Their Party’s Government Healthcare Takeover

Dem Vs. Dem Attacks You Might See in Campaign Ads Next Year

“…the bill ‘does not do enough to contain costs, or protect small businesses, seniors, taxpayers and middle class families……I am not satisfied that it curbs costs and keeps health care affordable in the long term.” (Raju Chebium, “Adler to vote against reform,” Courier-Post, 11/07/09)


  • ·         ADLER:(Martin Vaughan, Naftali Bendavid and Janet Adamy, “Democratic Leaders Agree to Allow Vote on Amendment From Abortion Opponents,” Wall Street Journal, 11/07/09)


REP. DAN BOREN (D-OK): “The worst thing we could do during a recession is raise taxes and this bill does just that. I also believe the public option would ultimately lead to a single-payer health care system.” (“Boren Says He'll Vote Against Healthcare Bill,” KTUL, 11/5/09)


REP. ALLEN BOYD (D-FL): “While the House bill does take some positive steps toward increasing coverage and reforming insurance regulations, it simply falls short when it comes to lowering healthcare costs for North Florida families and businesses.  Improving our healthcare system is of utmost importance to me, but meaningful reform must reduce the skyrocketing cost of healthcare services.  Until I have confidence that a healthcare reform bill will effectively curb rising healthcare costs and ease the burdensome pressure millions of Americans feel when paying their healthcare premiums or doctor bills, I cannot in good faith support this bill.” (Boyd Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. BOBBY BRIGHT (D-AL): “H.R. 3962 contains a government option and surcharges and mandates on small businesses and individuals.  People and small businesses across the country are struggling to make ends meet and this is no time to place additional burdens on them.  I fear this bill will not reduce long-term costs, and our debt and deficits will suffer and balloon in the years ahead.” (Bright Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. TRAVIS CHILDERS (D-MS): “First and foremost, I cannot vote for legislation with this big of a price tag in today’s economic climate.  I would also like to see legislation that contains stronger language to prohibit federal funding for abortion and provides equal access to care for individuals in rural communities. My concerns in these areas have not been sufficiently addressed by this legislation.” (Childers Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. ARTUR DAVIS (D-MS): “Because we risk a disaster if we get this wrong, I will vote no on the House legislation and continue to root for a final bill that fixes the holes in our health care system and contains soaring costs in both the private and public sectors.” (Davis Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. CHET EDWARDS (D-TX): “Given the huge federal deficits facing our nation, I believe there is too much new spending in this bill.  I am especially disappointed that the bill does not have a fiscal trigger in it to cut spending if actual costs of new programs turn out to be higher than projected.” (Edwards Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


  • ·         EDWARDS:(Edwards Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. PARKER GRIFFITH (D-AL): “I remain against this bill and plan to vote against it on the House floor.  The 1,990-page, updated House version of health care reform was delivered to my office at 10:30 eastern time Thursday morning.  As I began to read the bill, it became clear that a government-run public option would remain the foundation of the legislation’s aim.  I was hopeful that we would see a new bill that aggressively tackled tort reform, addressed the growing problem of physician shortages in our nation hospitals, and did not include a public option.  This did not happen, and I cannot support this bill.” (Griffith Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. BART GORDON (D-TN): “I am concerned about a mandated government-run public option, and I do not like this bill's financial impact on the state of Tennessee….The Congressional Budget Office has also indicated that the House bill will not reduce the federal government's spending on health care over the long term — something I believe is essential.” (Doug Davis, “Gordon opposed to health care bill,” Tennessean, 11/05/09)


REP. STEPHANIE HERSETH SANDLIN (D-SD): “Despite improvements, it still costs too much, burdens states with increased Medicaid costs and reduces long-term coverage for senior citizens, among other problems.”  (Kevin Woster, “Herseth Sandlin says she will vote against health care reform,” Rapid City Journal, 11/6/19)


REP. TIM HOLDEN (D-PA): “It's a trillion-dollar program at a time when we're at the highest deficit and debt that our nation has ever accumulated, and the bill they're proposing, is, in my opinion, bad public policy….the rising cost of it, the pre-existing conditions, the doughnut hole, all that needs to be addressed.” (Dustin Pangonis, “Holden: House health care bill is ‘bad public policy,’” Pottsville Republican Herald, 11/07/09)


REP. LARRY KISSELL (D-NC): “While I believe comprehensive health care and insurance reform is necessary, I cannot vote for H.R. 3962 in its current form, which cuts $399 billion from Medicare.” (Congressman Kissell to vote no on House health care bill, Stanly News and Press, 11/06/09)


REP. SUZANNE KOSMAS (D-FL): “I believe that it does not do enough to slow the growth of health care costs and spending on care.” (Kosmas Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. FRANK KRATOVIL (D-MD): “After months of thoroughly reviewing legislative proposals and speaking with constituents and stakeholders, I am not satisfied that this bill before us is a sustainable solution.  While I applaud the efforts to improve this bill, I still am concerned that this bill does not do enough to bend the long-term cost curve and that it lacks adequate provisions to reduce the deficit and protect small businesses.” (Kratovil Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. JIM MARSHALL (D-GA): “I think these bills missed a critical opportunity for the country….Whatever we do has to address the rising costs. None of these plans do that very effectively.” (Thomas L. Day, “Marshall to resist health reform proposals,” Macon Telegraph, 10/21/09)


REP. ERIC MASSA (D-NY): “It is exceptionally painful to me to not be able to bring a common-sense bill on health care reform to my district, but I will not vote on something that I think will hurt the people who sent me to Washington, regardless of how popular it may be……This bill also, I believe, fails to address the fundamental question before the American people, and that is how do we control the costs of health care.  It does not address interstate portability, as Medicare does.  It does not address real medical malpractice insurance reform. It does not address the incredible waste and fraud that are currently in the system.” (Ray Finger, “Massa says he'll vote against health care bill,” Elmira Star-Gazette, 11/06/09)



REP. JIM MATHESON (D-UT): “Putting millions of additional people into a broken system will not work. After meeting directly with the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, I do not believe that this bill makes the system reforms needed to ensure financial stability for our families, our businesses and our federal treasury.” (Matheson Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


  • ·         MATHESON:(Matheson Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. MIKE MCINTYRE (D-NC): “During these tough economic times, I could not support this bill because it was flawed in four major ways: 1. It costs way too much money – more than $1 trillion dollars on top of a $12 trillion national debt; 2. It does not take the steps necessary to effectively bring down long-term health care costs; 3. It raises too much in new taxes and imposes new requirements that will harm the ability of too many small businesses to compete and create jobs; and 4. It tries to do too much too soon instead of targeted changes that can immediately help people.” (McIntyre Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. MICHAEL MCAHON (D-NY): “I believe that the net negatives of this bill outweigh the positive effects…..The House bill being debated costs over $1 trillion. It includes a tax increase that is not indexed to inflation. Medicare Advantage, which serves approximately 40% of my seniors on Medicare, would be cut dramatically, leading to significant monthly average premium increases of $130 per person per month……The bill would penalize small businesses and could have unintended consequence of encouraging businesses to drop healthcare coverage and push people into the public option. I do not believe that the House bill goes far enough in containing the cost curve in which healthcare spending takes up a larger and larger share of our GDP.” (Michael McAuliff, “McMahon Saying 'No' to Health Care Bill,” New York Daily News, 11/06/09)


REP. WALT MINNICK (D-ID): “I believe that cutting down the cost of health care is one important step we can take in moving our economy forward. We need to reform the insurance industry by demanding accountability and increasing private-sector competition. We must reduce government spending on programs such as a Medicare, and look to Idaho for examples of ways to do just that.  And we must reduce costs throughout the health-care system, so the long-term benefits of reform will truly help our economy to grow and our nation to prosper.” (Minnick Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


  • ·         MINNICK:(Minnick Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. GLENN NYE (D-VA): “Health care costs are crippling our small businesses and forcing families into bankruptcy, and any reform plan needs to reduce those costs. Although this version of the bill takes important steps to lower the deficit in the short term, the CBO has said that it does not address the fundamental problem of reducing skyrocketing health care costs.  Small businesses are facing increases of ten to twenty percent in their health care premiums each year, and I am not convinced that this bill would fix that problem next year or the year after.” (Nye Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. COLLIN PETERSON (D-MN): “We've got over a $70 trillion unfunded liablity in this over the next 75 years and we're just going to make it worse. And I don't see how that's sustainable. The govenment's running a $1.5 trillion deficit the way it is. So that's my big problem with this.”  (Tom Scheck, “Peterson to vote No on health care bill,” Minnesota Public Radio, 11/6/09)


  • ·         PETERSON:(Eric Roper, “Minnesota delegation split on health care bill,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11/6/09)


REP. IKE SKELTON (D-MO): “The American people should be able to look at this bill and say that Congress has done a good job…This legislation does not accomplish that goal.” (Peter Urban, “Skelton says he will oppose health care overhaul,” Springfield News-Leader, 11/07/09)


  • ·         SKELTON:(Peter Urban, “Skelton says he will oppose health care overhaul,” Springfield News-Leader, 11/07/09)


  • ·         SKELTON:(Dan Randlett, “ Senior Democrat opposes health bill,” The Hill, 11/4/09)


REP. JOHN TANNER (D-TN): “After careful review of the current legislation pending in the House and the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis, I believe the bill will not help control the long-term costs of health care and puts in place an infrastructure that is not fiscally sustainable over time. I am unable to support this legislation in its present form.” (Tanner Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)


REP. GENE TAYLOR (D-MS): “I've been spending a lot of time with my members who are kind of going from pillar to post saying, 'Look, we don't need this; we can't afford this’….Let's think it through.  Let's do some bullets that make the system better rather than this shotgun approach…..I think a lot of people know what I'm saying is the truth.” (Michael O'Brien, “Democratic Party leaders haven't lobbied Blue Dog for his vote on healthcare bill,” The Hill, 11/05/09)


REP. HARRY TEAGUE (D-NM): “My primary concerns have been that the legislation does little to bring down out of control health care costs, which is what burdens families and small business, and also leads to our skyrocketing budget deficits. If the bill doesn’t control costs, American taxpayers will shell out $900 billion, much of which will go to health insurance companies in the form of profits and we will have done nothing but pass a temporary fix that resulted in doubling the national debt and didn’t eliminate the health care crisis.” (Heath Haussamen, "Teague Expresses Concerns About House Health Bill,", 10/30/09)


·         TEAGUE: “It mandates millions of people and businesses to buy health insurance, but does little to make insurance companies control consumer costs.  I am also concerned that American taxpayers will end up footing a nearly $900 billion tab for a bill that doesn’t do enough to ‘bend the cost curve’ in a way that permanently reduces both costs and the national debt.” (Teague Official Website, Accessed 11/07/09)