By Eric Zimmermann - 09/05/09 10:00 AM EDT
Lawmakers should scrap the current healthcare bill and start over, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) said Saturday.
Kline, the ranking member on the House Education and Labor Committee, which has partial jurisdiction over healthcare, said the Democratic proposal is too expensive, would cost millions of jobs, and would force Americans out of their current coverage.
"It’s not too late to start over," Kline urged in the weekly Republican address. "It’s not too late to do better."
And as Congress reconvenes from a month of town hall protests, Kline said Americans were right to be upset at the prospect of Democratic reform.
"No wonder Americans are scared," Kline said in the weekly Republican address. "Healthcare reform is being imposed upon them, rather than developed with them, and the potential costs are far too high."
Kline said Democrats had shut Republicans out of the process to create a cumbersome and unworkable bill.
"Democrats have crafted this legislation behind closed doors, creating a partisan blueprint that – at last count – clocked in at more than 1,000 pages. It’s complicated, it’s convoluted, and it’s quite simply not going to work," he said.
Kline urged Democrats to focus on keeping costs down and preserving the quality of care. The Minnesota Republican argued that both of those tasks could be accomplished while still expanding coverage.
“We can drive down costs without sacrificing quality,” he said. “We can expand coverage without orchestrating a government takeover. And we can do all of these things without squeezing small businesses and destroying more jobs at a time when our economy needs them most."