McConnell warns of healthcare costs

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) likened Democratic healthcare proposals to President Obama's stimulus package on Saturday, calling both detrimental to the economy.

McConnell, delivering the weekly Republican radio address, credited Democrats for trying to tackle healthcare reform. But he said Democrats' plans are too expensive.

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“Throughout this debate, the administration’s central argument has been that America needs health care reform for the sake of the economy," he said. "Yet according to independent estimates, every health care proposal Democrats on Capitol Hill have offered would only hurt the economy."

Earlier this week the Congressional Budget Office found that two leading Democratic healthcare proposals cost more than $1 trillion over ten years.

That led Senate Finance Chairman Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusSteady American leadership is key to success with China and Korea Orrin Hatch, ‘a tough old bird,’ got a lot done in the Senate Canada crossing fine line between fair and unfair trade MORE (D-Mont.) to announce that he plans to cut $600 billion from his healthcare legislation, which topped $1.6 trillion in the CBO report.

McConnell said the bills will likely cost more.

"The total cost would be much higher, burying us in deeper and deeper debt," the senator said. "And yet Democrats still want to rush the process. When it comes to healthcare reform, the Democratic motto is clear: rush and spend, rush and spend."

Similarly, McConnell argued that President Obama $787 billion stimulus has created more debt instead of resuscitating the economy.

"They even predicted that if we passed it quickly, unemployment wouldn’t go higher than eight percent," McConnell said of the Democrats. "Well, here we are just a few months later and the unemployment rate is approaching 10 percent."

The Republican said repeatedly that the Democrats are pushing for "government-run" healthcare program, a common attack line from Republicans this week. He also said the public should be skeptical of Democrats generating a sense of urgency to pass healthcare reform. They did the same, he said, with the stimulus.

“If the stimulus bill taught us anything, it’s that we should be wary anytime someone in Washington says the sky’s going to fall unless Congress approves trillions of dollars immediately," McConnell said. "Yet once again in the health care debate, it’s rush and spend, rush and spend. Americans want health care reform, but they want the right health care reform. And that means taking the time and the care necessary to get it right."