Wicker Discusses the Status of Health Care Reform, Calls for Step-by-Step Approach

Senator's Remarks on Memphis MOrning News with Kenny Bosak

February 24, 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today joined Kenny Bosak on the Memphis Morning News radio program to discuss President Obama’s renewed efforts to push through a government takeover of health care. Senator Wicker also called for a step-by-step approach to reforms that will lower the cost of health care.  Below are some of the key excerpts from the interview: 

Health Care
On the President’s proposal being a poor basis for bipartisan compromise:
• It’s very doubtful to me that we’re going to accomplish anything because two days before the summit the President came out combining the House Democrat bill with the Senate Democrat bill and actually came up with a plan – if you can believe it – that has even more federal control and is even more expensive. It is not a good beginning for what is supposed to be a bipartisan exchange of ideas.”

On reports that Democrats may use an expedited legislative process known as “reconciliation” to pass the President’s proposal:
• “We’ve never done major [policy] changes, such as changing one-sixth of the economy – which is health  care – by the reconciliation or fifty-one vote method.” 

On public opposition to the House and Senate bills:
• “The people have spoken loudly and clear, and they don’t want this bill to pass. The polls continue to say that – about 55 to 58 percent of Americans say kill this bill entirely, let’s go back to the drawing board and take a step-by-step approach and do some things that we can agree on. It would be the height of political arrogance...if Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid went ahead anyway and defied public opinion.”

On the fundamental difference in views between the Republicans and the Democrats:
• “There’s a reason for [the partisanship].We are fighting about something that is very fundamentally important. The Americans don’t want a Canadian-style [or a] British-style takeover of health care.”

• “Any kind of health care needs to be talking about lowering the cost [and] lowering the premiums for health insurance, and hopefully not expanding the role of the federal government or not expanding taxes. If ever I feel I should stand up and fight for my constituents, it’s on something of that size and magnitude.”

On the need for step-by-step reform:
• “We need to do a step-by-step approach. We need to use what has worked in the United States of America, and that’s competition… Those are some small steps that we can take that can actually bring down the cost of insurance by using competition.”

Listen to Senator Wicker’s full interview with Kenny Bosak here.

Click here to read Senator Wicker’s recent health care column that outlines his ideas for a step-by-step approach to health care reform.  

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