Senate Democratic Reaction to the Finance Committee Mark

From the Senate Republican Communications Center:

MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID (D-NV): “We Have 2 Scale Back State Medicaid Spending Rqmt.” (Sen. Harry Reid’s Twitter Account, 9/16/09)

SEN. JOHN ROCKEFELLER (D-WV): “The Way It Is Now, There’s No Way I Can Vote For The Senate Package.” “One of the Democrats, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, said he could not vote for the bill in its current form, in part because it did not include a new government insurance plan to compete with private insurers. ‘The way it is now, there’s no way I can vote for the Senate package,’ Mr. Rockefeller said.” (“Senate Health Bill Draws Fire On Both Sides,” The New York Times, 9/16/09)

SEN. BILL NELSON (D-FL): “I Think It Would Be Intolerable To Ask The Senior Citizens On Medicare Who Have [Medicare Advantage] To Give Up Substantial Health Benefits That They’re Enjoying Under Medicare. For hundreds of thousands of seniors who didn’t conceive of Medicare Advantage but who have come to rely on it, this senator is going to offer an amendment that will shield them from those benefit cuts. On existing senior citizens on Medicare. I don’t think that we can punish senior citizens who signed up.” (Sen. Nelson, Floor Remarks, 9/16/09)

SEN. RON WYDEN (D-OR): “That’s A Real Hit On Middle-Class Families.” “Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) complained the legislation would ask working Americans to commit as much as 13% of their income to buy basic insurance. ‘Additional steps are going to have to be taken to make coverage more affordable,’ he said. ‘That’s a real hit on middle-class families.’” (“Baucus Crafts Health Care Plan, But Senate Democrats Have Concerns,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/15/09)

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): “Fundamentally, We’re Doing This For American Families, And We Need To Make Sure This Is Affordable.” “Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) vowed to seek additional subsidies, or possibly a new tax break, aimed at helping working families, when the bill comes before committee. ‘Fundamentally, we’re doing this for American families, and we need to make sure this is affordable,’ she said.” (“Democrats Worry Bill Will Cost Families Too Much,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/16/09)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA): “There May Be A Better Way To Find That Revenue.” (“Baucus Crafts Health Care Plan, But Senate Democrats Have Concerns,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/15/09)

SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): “Here’s Some Of The Concerns. You Mentioned The Public Option, That Not Being In The Bill. I’m a strong supporter from day one of that. I think it’s good for competition and choice. But also I have some concerns I think that reflect not only the people of Pennsylvania, but I think people across the country. One is insurance reform or consumer protection is a better way to say it. What happens to the pre-existing condition problem that has affected millions of people? Just that one problem, millions of people have been adversely impacted. We have to make those kinds of practices illegal in my judgment. I’m not sure this does it.” (MSNBC’s “Live,” 9/16/09)

SENS. KLOBUCHAR And FRANKEN (D-MN): Medical Device Tax “Will Seriously Threaten Thousands Of American Jobs And Deter Innovation.” “In a letter to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, the Minnesota Democrats claimed the proposed $4 billion tax ‘will seriously threaten thousands of American jobs and deter innovation’ in the heavily research-focused device industry.” (“Klobuchar, Franken Oppose Device-Firm Tax,” Star Tribune, 9/16/09)

· “Tuesday’s Letter Was Also Signed By Indiana Sens. Richard Lugar, A Republican, And Evan Bayh, A Democrat.” (“Klobuchar, Franken Oppose Device-Firm Tax,” Star Tribune, 9/16/09)

· “One Democratic Member Of The Senate Finance Committee Acknowledged Wednesday That The Provision In Chairman Max Baucus’ (D-Mont.) Bill To Tax Some Insurance Plans And Medical Devices Could Become A Tax On Consumers.” (“Carper: Healthcare Surtax Could Affect Plan Holders,” The Hill, 9/16/09)