Washington, DC—Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Chuck Schumer and Senators Robert Menendez and Sheldon Whitehouse held a press conference this afternoon to discuss Republican hypocrisy and obstruction throughout the health reform debate. Republicans went to great lengths in recent days to claim that they want to have votes on The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But the American people know better – their lackluster record tells the story. Republicans had 8 years to lead on health care and neglected to. They’ve also had countless opportunities since the beginning of this session of Congress to work with Democrats on health reform and have stalled and delayed at every turn.
“The Senate health care reform bill will protect Medicare and extend its solvency by getting rid of the fraud, waste and abuse in the system,” said Senator Schumer. “We must get rid of this waste because if we do nothing, Medicare will go broke in seven years. Republicans lately have styled themselves as defenders of Medicare, but in defending the status quo, the Republicans are risking letting Medicare going bankrupt. That shouldn’t come as any surprise considering that Republicans opposed this program’s creation and have been trying to kill it ever since,” Schumer said.
Senator Menendez said: “The ideological right is playing the fear card again, trying to drive a wedge that splits this nation into red and blue again. They want Americans to fear government and fear the Democrats’ genuine effort to reform a broken health insurance system — because they don’t have a plan to fix it. They talk about death panels, socialism and taxes and raise people’s fears. They push a few hot buttons. Let’s be clear: The Republicans don’t want health insurance reform. They don’t want to debate. They want it their way or no way.”
“The once-proud Republican Party is now resorting to distortion and delay in the face of one of the great challenges facing our country, and I can only hope my Republican colleagues will soon join us in working to deliver quality, affordable health care to the American people,” said Senator Whitehouse.