Murray, KY – Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell visited Murray Thursday, November 12th, to cut the ribbon to the new Murray Calloway County Industrial Park and further his political agenda during a keynote address to Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Cabinet members. Chad Lampe has more on Senator McConnell's visit.
McConnell harked to the region to officially open the industrial park for which he secured 2 million federal dollars in 2007. That same year he also provided 4 million dollars to the Paducah Waterfront Development Project and a million dollars for the Paducah Area Transit Authority. This trip didn't involve handing out oversized checks and resident dutifully smiling and snapping photos. Rather, Thursday's trip was to inform his constituents of the political battle waging in Washington. He began with hope for the Republicans who had been struggling up until this point for nearly the last four years.
"If the election were held today would you be more likely to vote for the republican candidate for congress or the democratic candidate for congress. Last November my side was down 12 that's not close, on the day the pres was sworn in I was down 15, and the Party Generic Ballot question yesterday my party was up by four."
With those statistics McConnell was posturing for statements to follow. He said the current administration's initial popularity prompted them to push a major change agenda, to which the American public is recoiling. McConnell said the change ahead is visible not only from recent elections but the narrow margin in which the House version of the healthcare bill passed.
"The only thing truly bipartisan to it was the opposition to it. There were 39 democrats who opposed it, including Congressman Ben Chandler from our state. And it was a tough sell, why was it a tough sell. I think there is a pretty broad consensus that some changes are needed. The question is what?"
McConnell expressed his concern with the costs associated with the current bill. He also firmly disapproves of a government option. He likened it to government bailouts for the auto industry. He referenced a call from the Ford CEO, an auto company that didn't take federal bailout funds.
"Given how bad things are we aren't doing too bad. He said we have a problem though, we are having a hard time competing with government controlled GMAC and government controlled Chrysler Finance, because they are undercutting us. Shift that over to the health care field, no one could compete with a government health insurance company"
McConnell broadened the scope of a public option explaining that the public option would prove to be a gateway to a government "single payer plan" like Canada's and England's which he says raises another issue.
"The hallmark of every government owned healthcare system is delays rationing denial of care because then the government absorbs all the cost and they way they deal with the costs is to ration."
McConnell equated the rationing to a waiting list for procedures that he believes could be dangerous in a life or death situation. McConnell's solutions to the current healthcare debate include promoting more competition between private companies by abolishing limitations that prevent insurance companies from providing services to states other than their own. He also wants protect doctors from unwarranted malpractice suits that prompt doctors to practice almost defensive medicine.
Senator McConnell predicts a lengthy debate on the bill including many amendments and in the end he says if it looks anything like it did when left the house, he hope it will be defeated.