Critical Condition

Cornyn: Be Aware Of Medicare

Sen. John Cornyn (R., Tex.), a member of the Senate Budget and Finance Committees, tells NRO that the health-care bill being pushed by Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has many problems, but one that looms over all others. “Not enough attention is being paid to the core deficiency of the bill: its half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts to create a new entitlement,” says Cornyn. “Amendments can’t change that. The public option and abortion seem to get the most ink. We’ve got to remember that Medicare is already in a fragile fiscal condition.”

So what are the chances of the GOP stopping Reid? “On paper, the Democrats can pass any bill,” says Cornyn. “With only 40 senators, we have an uphill climb and diminished numbers. On the public option, Joe Lieberman is on our side. On abortion language, Ben Nelson agrees with us. Part of what we have to do is continue to inform and educate the American people so they can let their views be heard.”

“In Nevada, for example, Senator Reid’s home state, a majority of voters dislike the bill,” says Cornyn. “If that’s the case, is (Reid) listening to his constituents?”

For now, Cornyn remains optimistic. “The Democrats have blown one deadline after another. They say they’ll be done by Christmas but part of our strategy is to slow things down.”

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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