Congressman Bill Shuster released the following statement in response to President Obama’s speech last night to a joint session of Congress on the issue of healthcare reform:
“Last night, the President delivered a speech to a skeptical audience of millions of Americans who have deep reservations about the Democrats’ healthcare reform proposals. In his attempt to press the ‘reset button’ on healthcare reform, the President gave a highly partisan speech short on detail and long on rhetoric.
The President sounded combative, calling opponents of his healthcare plan ‘cynical and irresponsible.’ This wasn’t a speech to carve out common ground; it was a speech to rally the liberal base, encouraging them to run roughshod over Republican opposition and the majority of Americans who oppose a government take-over of healthcare.
President Obama’s olive branch to Republicans – his promise to place limits on medical malpractice lawsuit abuse may be more rhetoric then reality. Despite his recognition of Republican efforts last night, he hasn’t met with Republicans on healthcare since April and he has continually swatted Republican reform ideas away.
The President has given close to 100 speeches on healthcare and last night’s speech didn’t add much to the debate. President Obama wants to get his bill passed because the legacy of his administration hangs in the balance. The American people understand their health hangs in the balance and they want reform done right.
I heard the American people over the month of August and I agree with them that it is time to start over on healthcare reform in a real bipartisan manner. Mere rhetoric isn’t enough.”