Menu

Politics

Senate

McConnell: November Elections Will Be 'Referendum' on Health Care Bill

The November midterm elections will be a "referendum" on health care reform if Congress succeeds in passing it, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday. 

McConnell, speaking on ABC's "This Week," questioned why Democrats would continue to pursue the health care bill in an election year, particularly since most of the subsidies connected with the package aren't expected to kick in until several years down the road. 

"Every election this fall will be a referendum on this bill," McConnell said. "The benefits don't kick in for four years. Just looking at the politics of it, there's nothing but pain here for the next four years -- why in the world would they conclude that that would be popular?" 

Though Republicans argue President Obama's party is setting itself up for huge losses in November by pursuing health care reform while the country struggles with high unemployment, administration officials and congressional Democrats insist Americans want health care reform -- and that Republicans have clouded the debate with scare tactics. 

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Americans are concerned over "skyrocketing premiums" and that Republicans are not addressing the problem in their health care proposals. 

"Are we really going to say that just because Republicans are not going to support a plan that advances the cause of health care reform that we are going to say, oh, time-out, we are not going to do it?" Van Hollen said.