Texas' two senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, responded Wednesday night to the healthcare reform speech President Barack Obama made to a joint session of Congress and the nation.
Sen. John Cornyn's statement:
“Tonight’s address will go down as a missed opportunity for the Obama Administration. In a speech that was meant to reclaim the debate over health care reform, President Obama missed the mark by repeating more of the same rhetoric the American people have already overwhelmingly rejected. It is clear that the President and Democrat leaders do not have their fingers on the pulse of the American people. For the thousands of Americans who wrote letters, made phone calls and attended town hall meetings because they believed they could have an impact on the President’s agenda, tonight’s speech was a major let-down.
“People are leery of the government takeovers they’ve seen over the past 9 months – in addition to the trillions of dollars the Administration has spent – and they worry health care is the next victim. Their concerns are justified.
“To get meaningful bipartisan health care reform, this debate demands more than lofty rhetoric. It requires more action, and less talk. And the American people deserve nothing less than the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
“We should slow down and go back to the drawing board to come up with real reform that will help everyone have access to affordable, quality health care.”
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's statement:
“For a month we’ve been hearing from constituents about their concerns with the Democrats’ health care proposals, including the government-run option. But instead of new ideas and a willingness to work in a true bipartisan manner to bring costs down and preserve patients’ rights to choose their doctors, the President is repackaging the same bad policies.
“The Administration is still promoting the government takeover of our nation’s health care. We are still facing massive, misguided legislation that will raise the federal deficit and lead to rationing of health care in America. The Administration’s proposal will still increase the size of our government and shrink patients’ choices. It will still drive up taxpayers’ costs and deteriorate our nation’s quality of care. The legislation will devastate our health care system. And we have Democratic leaders in both chambers of Congress indicating that they will move forward with the legislation with or without Republican support.
“The American people deserve better, and there are better ideas on the table. There are alternatives, and that’s where I will direct my energy as this debate intensifies.
“I am working with my colleague Senator Jim DeMint and other Republicans on a better alternative. Our approach will help cover more Americans through tax credits, competition, and transparency among insurance providers. It will allow patients to keep the doctors they know and trust. And it will emphasize the two most important factors in any health care reform: reducing costs and raising access. It will crack down on medical lawsuit abuse and implement reasonable caps on damages for medical malpractice. And our reforms will be enacted without a massive government takeover of one-third of our economy, as the Administration and the Democratic Leadership have proposed.”