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Monday, October 12, 2009

According To Former Republican Senate Leader, Bob Dole: Republicans Are Deliberately Refusing Healthcare Reform So As To NOT Help POTUS Barack Obama!

Dole says he was asked not to issue health care statement

Former Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kansas, was in Kansas City last week to speak at a health care forum.

The GOP’s 1996 candidate for president said he was asked by current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., not to issue a bipartisan statement calling for passage of health care reform legislation.

“We’re already hearing from some high-ranking Republicans that we shouldn’t do that — that’s helping the president,” Dole said. He later specified that the people he referred to included one “very prominent Republican, who happens to be the Republican leader of the Senate,” according to The Kansas City Star .

Dole was also quoted as saying that partisanship by his own GOP was behind the delay in reaching agreement on a final health care bill.

“Sometimes people fight you just to fight you,” Dole said. “They don’t want Reagan to get it, they don’t want Obama to get it, so we’ve got to kill it.”

Dole was careful to say he did not agree with everything President Barack Obama was proposing, but “I don’t want the Republicans putting up a ‘no’ sign and saying, ‘We’re not open for business.’”

Dole and former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., later did release their statement, which did not endorse a specific bill but urged “sweeping changes in health care.”

Dole and Daschle, co-founders of the Bipartisan Policy Center, went on to say this: “As former Senate leaders, we each worked for years to reform the health care system and watched with frustration as efforts failed time and time again. The Congressional and Executive branches must accept responsibility for not getting the job done in the past.”

“Today it is different and Congress could be close to passing comprehensive health reform,” the former senators said. “The American people have waited decades and if this moment passes us by, it may be decades more before there is another opportunity. The current approaches suggested by the Congress are far from perfect, but they do provide some basis on which Congress can move forward and we urge the joint leadership to get together for America’s sake. We have no vote or power but we have experience and our only objective is to be helpful.”

Did McConnell ask Dole not to issue this statement?

Don Stewart, spokesman for the Senate GOP leader, said McConnell “hasn’t spoken with him in a while.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if staff have or something,” Stewart said, “but the leader hasn’t spoken with him.”

In addition, McConnell has given 44 Senate floor speeches since June 1 on the need for health care reform, Stewart said.

“I don’t think he objects to anybody issuing a statement calling for health care reform,” Stewart said. “There’s no daylight between the two.”

Indeed, for months, the most powerful Republican in Washington has been positing that it is his party that is proposing reasonable changes to the health care system while safeguarding the public purse and blocking any increases in taxes. McConnell sees the Democrats as rushing to enact a massive “government takeover” of health care that will cost Americans more money and cut Medicare benefits.

One man’s reasonable approach is another’s obstructionism, and such is the case here, where Obama and Democratic supporters of health care reform see McConnell merely as a defender of the status quo, not a partner in trying to find consensus.

Stewart added that Dole and some other Republicans who have been calling for health care reform — including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former Sens. Bill Frist and Howard Baker of Tennessee — have not endorsed the Democrats’ plans.

“That…puts them in the same camp as one Addison Mitchell McConnell,” Stewart said.

Dole appeared Friday on Fox News and seemed to have mellowed a bit.

“I hope he did not think I was directing it personally at him,” Dole said of McConnell. “But if we are not in the game, we are just sitting on the sidelines, nothing good is going to happen.”

“…I think Republicans have a lot of good ideas. They ought to put them together in a bill,” Dole said. “There ought to be a vote on the substitute because everybody is for health care reform. Mitch McConnell is. Bob Dole is.”

“…If Mitch is listening, I hope he did not misinterpret what I said.…He is a good guy and he’s smart and he’s a good leader.” ...

Editor's comment: I have ALWAYS suspected that my fellow members of the Republican Party in CONgress who shall remain nameless have been pooh-poohing healthcare reform so they can HURT POTUS Barack Obama politically. NOW, thanks to integrity of some of us in that same party such as Bob Dole, my suspecions have been CONFIRMED.

Call me a RINO if you want, but the actions of some of my fellow party members/ leaders SICKEN me!

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