Senate Democrats have put their healthcare votes "on the auction block," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) asserted Wednesday.
As the Senate prepares to move forward with passing its health bill Wednesday and Thursday, the top House Republican decried "sweeteners" in the upper chamber's bill to win votes, and vowed not to give up fighting the Democratic-led reform efforts.
"Senate Democrats have sunk to plenty of new lows to jam through this government-run health monstrosity, but putting their votes on the auction block tops them all," Boehner said.
His office pointed to a Quinnipiac poll released this week showing a majority of voters in opposition to the Senate health bill. Opposition to the Senate bill has ticked downward slightly in the past two weeks, though Boehner's office suggested that anger toward the bill is growing as people learn more about sweeteners for senators included in the bill.
Included in the latest iteration of the health bill is $1.2 billion to restore some Medicaid funding in Massachusetts and Vermont, as well as in Nebraska, where Sen. Ben Nelson (D) secured $100 million for his state's Medicaid obligations. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) managed to get $100 million for the University of Connecticut's hospitals. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) got $100 million in disaster relief funds for her state before agreeing to vote with Democrats to begin debate on their health bill.
"Americans want lower healthcare costs, yet Sen. Reid’s payoffs, kickbacks and sweetheart deals prove once and for all that Democrats cannot be trusted to deliver on their behalf," Boehner said, joining Senate GOP colleagues who have blasted the Senate's sweeteners as "sleazy," among other adjectives.
The House minority leader also vowed to keep fighting the bill, while urging opponents of the bill to do the same.
"My message to the American people is now is not the time to give up," Boehner said. "Now is the time to speak out, more loudly and clearly than ever, against this government takeover of healthcare."