I hear Georgians loud and clear. After months of personal conversations, phone calls, letters and emails, they have made it clear that they do not want the government to take over their health care. It's not just conservatives in the south who are kicking and screaming over the bills that Congress approved. According to the latest CNN poll, only twenty-five percent of Americans support the Democrats' attempt to socialize medicine. That means an overwhelming majority want an entirely new bill or for Congress to stop work on health care reform altogether. Still, liberals in Congress are doing their best to ram through a government takeover of health care.
Instead of listening to the American people's demand to start over, Democrats are threatening to use a legislative trick known as reconciliation. Under normal floor procedures, the Senate must have sixty members who are ready to vote on a piece of legislation. However, they can get around this process by using the budget reconciliation trick, which only requires fifty-one votes. Even the man who helped craft the reconciliation process, Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, called the misuse of this process "an undemocratic disservice to our people," and he's not the only one speaking out against his own party. According to Democrat Senator Kent Conrad, reconciliation was never designed for legislation as significant as comprehensive health care reform.
I do not think we should stop working to reform the health care financing system here in America, but we do need to start over with a clean sheet of paper. Republicans have common-sense solutions, such as my OPTION Act, that will allow individuals to buy health care across state lines, cover people with pre-existing conditions, and improve access to Health Savings Accounts without launching a government takeover. President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid should support the commonsense, market-based solutions that Americans are demanding.