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Camp Reaction to President Obama’s Joint Address to Congress

September 09, 2009

Washington, D.C.- Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) today made the following statement on President Obama’s joint address to Congress on health care:

“As Yogi Berra said, ‘I feel like this is déjà vu all over again.’ We have a well-delivered speech from the President that sounds good on the surface, but doesn’t match the policy he and the Democrats are putting forward. 

“Instead of honestly reaching out, the President opted for a political speech in which he criticized those who support health care reform but disagree with his policies and laid out a false choice between his ObamaCare plan and no plan.  Worse yet, it is clear he has decided to ignore the American people, moderates in his own party, and Republicans who have all agreed that a government-run plan is a bad idea.  If the President continues down this path, then he will go-it-alone on health care without the support of the American people. 

“Americans know a government-run plan will force them to lose their current health insurance coverage, drive up taxes and explode the federal deficit.  It is the wrong approach and the President missed an opportunity to say ‘no’ the liberal extremists in his party and ‘yes’ to the American people tonight. 

“The massive tax increases in this bill will further weaken our economy and put more American jobs at risk – something we can hardly afford after the failure of the President’s stimulus bill.  The deficits created under the Democrats’ bill, which get exponentially worse as time goes on, will limit job creation for generations to come.

“I hope that once the pageantry of this evening fades and it becomes clear that the American people still don’t support ObamaCare, that we can get out a clean sheet of paper and work – Republicans and Democrats – to craft fiscally responsible, common sense health care policy that will actually lower the cost of health care; guarantee every American access to quality, affordable health coverage, even if they are sick or have a preexisting condition.”

NOTE: Since the start of the year, Republicans have repeatedly reached out to the President and Congressional Democrats to write a bipartisan health care bill.  In the Ways and Means Committee, Republicans offered 38 amendments to improve the House Democrats’ health care bill.  Democrats, however, rejected every Republican idea.  Those Republican policies included eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid; cracking down on lawsuit abuse that forces doctors to order unnecessary and expensive tests; and, ensuring Americans can enroll in a private plan of their choosing.