Meghan Hughes (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement after the Senate Finance Committee approved its version of health care reform. The vote in committee was 14-9 with only one Republican supporting the measure.
“I’m afraid we’re about to make a monumental mistake. There’s no doubt the health care problems facing our nation are serious. Unfortunately, the Senate Finance bill will only make the problem worse. Many Americans lose under this plan with senior citizens on Medicare and those who have private health insurance bearing the brunt of the damage.
“There are a number of gimmicks and accounting tricks in the health care legislation. The biggest may be the illusion the Finance Committee has put forth that Congress will suddenly develop the political will to cut Medicare by over $400 billion to pay for health care reform.
“The first problem with this is that Congress has never had the appetite to reduce Medicare spending, certainly not by $400 billion. Secondly, Medicare faces tremendous funding problems in the years ahead. Any changes to Medicare should be dedicated to making Medicare solvent in the years ahead, not covering the uninsured.
“Those who currently have private insurance will also be hurt. If you have a health care plan you like, your employer may be forced to change or drop it if it doesn’t meet the new federal requirements. Instead of expanding the market for private health insurance we are expanding the government’s role in providing health care.”