Senator Bob Corker made the following statement Wednesday night after listening to President Obama’s address to Congress regarding health care reform.
“I sat there tonight wondering what the purpose of this evening was. I was hoping to hear the president flesh out a middle ground, but instead we heard platitudes and campaign rhetoric.
“As I said in 23 town halls across Tennessee last month, I believe there are a number of incremental steps that both parties can agree upon: making sure Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage, tax code changes allowing individuals to purchase private insurance, cross-state competition, and exchanges like we have here in the Senate. These changes would go a long way toward meaningful health care reform.
“President Obama said tonight that we must bring the best ideas of both parties together. I hope what he means is that he will put aside divisive ideas like a government-run health care plan, so we can give the American people a truly bipartisan solution that can pass the common sense test and stand the test of time.”
Senator Corker on Thursday morning said, “This morning, I have asked the White House for the timeline as to when the details of the plan the President announced last night will be available. No serious debate can take place without details and language and I am anxious to see the full text of the legislation the President described last night.”
Third District Congressional Candidate Robin Smith issued the following statement:
“Tonight, amid the typical soaring rhetoric and applause lines from President Obama, we found the same rigid dedication to a government solution when addressing the problems in America’s health care system. No matter how many different ways they package the message or reframe the debate, liberals continue to promote the approach that Americans have soundly rejected.
"Throughout the August Congressional recess, citizens stood up to say that turning over 1/6 of our nation’s economy to bureaucrats is not the way to reform health care.
"Americans of all political views can agree that insurance needs to be more portable. The corrosive results of lawyers filing reckless and frivolous court actions for profit must be addressed. Insurance companies need to address the problem of pre-existing conditions prohibiting the purchase of policies. Small businesses need to be given the freedom to work together to negotiate lower rates and reform should first give consumers more freedom to make decisions that best fit themselves and their families. Unfortunately, the only people who seem not to understand this and remain fixated on government solutions are the President and the Pelosi Congress.
"When it comes to our health care, Tennesseans need personal choices, not government options.”
Chuck Fleischmann, Republican candidate for Congress in the Third District, said, “After an entire summer of the American people standing up at town hall meetings across this country and expressing their opposition to a government takeover of health care, President Obama stood before those very same Americans and endorsed a government takeover of health care. It is unfortunate that our President chooses not to listen to the voters of this country, and the majority of Americans that are satisfied with their health care coverage, who do not want government officials putting their fingerprints all over other people’s well being.
“By definition it is impossible for the government to bring fair competition to the playing field: it sets the rules – and there is a reason you never have seen, nor ever should see, the referee participating in a sporting event. It is estimated that a government run health care program could force over 100 million already insured Americans into the public system,” Fleischmann said. “The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the proposed public option would add $1 trillion to our already exploding deficit, and many Democrats in the House and Senate have admitted that the public option is the first step to a single-payer health care system. This must not be allowed to happen, and America must be allowed to stay on the cutting edge of medical research and solutions.”
“True health care reform involves medical malpractice lawsuit reform, allowing citizens to shop for medical insurance across state lines, and less government intervention. Mr. President, please listen to the majority of Americans, and keep the government out of our health care.”