A trigger for the public option is only an installment plan for a "government takeover" of healthcare, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will say this afternoon.
McConnell will blast the so-called "trigger" to delay the establishment of a public healthcare plan as no better than setting it up now.
"A government takeover on the installment plan -- or a ‘trigger’ as some are calling it -- is still a government takeover," McConnell will say on the Senate floor this afternoon, according to prepared remarks. "It’s a bad idea now. It’ll be a bad idea whenever the trigger kicks in."
Some lawmakers have floated the idea of the trigger as a potential compromise on the public option to win over centrist Democrats and some Republicans in the House and Senate.
McConnell will argue that the trigger would make the public option only inevitable.
"You can be sure of this: if Democrats are in charge, they’ll pull the trigger at some point," he'll say.
The Republican leader says that President Obama would need to provide more than specifics about his healthcare plans in tonight's joint session speech to Congress.
"Americans aren’t confused by the Democrats’ reform proposal. They’re not asking for a new sales pitch," McConnell asserts in the speech. "They want us to recommit ourselves to the reforms they want. If Democrats agree, we’ll be their partners."