McConnell Says Obama Health Care Address Will Make Little Difference

Posted September 2, 2009 at 5:36pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled that Republicans will not fall into line behind President Barack Obama’s plan for a health care bill even after he addresses a joint session of Congress next week.

“I don’t think the problem is messaging,— McConnell said Wednesday in a conference call. “The problem is what he’s trying to sell. I think there is a serious blowback and a negative reaction across the country to what they are proposing.—

Obama is expected to outline more details on the health care bill he wants Congress to pass in a Sept. 9 speech to Congress. Democrats have said they don’t expect Obama to unveil any new proposals, even though the White House has said Obama will be much more specific on which policies the president can endorse.

It’s unclear whether Obama will say that he would only support a health care bill that includes a public insurance option. Even if Obama doesn’t address the public option, McConnell said there are other significant problems with the health care proposals, including tax increases on small businesses and cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.