Four-term Sen. Kit Bond tells Newsmax that passage of President Obama and the Democrats’ healthcare reform bill sets the stage for turning the U.S. into a socialist country.
The Missouri Republican, who served two terms as governor of his state, also says the financial burden that the bill places on states by expanding Medicaid will be “horrific.”
Editor's Note: See the exclusive Newsmax.TV interview with Sen. Kit Bond below
But on a positive note, Sen. Bond believes “infuriated” voters will send a lot of new Republicans to Washington after the November elections.
Bond is vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a member of the Appropriations and Environment and Public Works Committees. He has announced that he won’t seek a fifth term in November.
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He agrees with Sen. John McCain’s assertion that the Republicans will eventually repeal the healthcare legislation.
“It will take us some time, but I think when the people of America see that it raises taxes, raises premiums on existing health insurance so you can’t keep your health insurance, cuts Medicare and services for seniors, and still leaves us in debt — people are not going to be happy with it.
“It will be difficult to get Barack Obama to sign a repeal. But there may be, and hopefully will be, somebody new in the presidency in 2013.”
Bond says the Democrats will have difficulty in the Senate using reconciliation to pass the revised reform bill headed there from the House.
“There are so many bad things in that healthcare bill that we passed. I don’t know how many of them they will try to take out in reconciliation, but to take out substantive provisions requires 60 votes. And they’re not going to get 60 votes.”
Referring to the special deals the Democrats cut — like the so-called “Louisiana Purchase” allocating $300 million in federal subsidies for Medicaid in Louisiana to secure the vote of Sen. Mary Landrieu — Bond says:
“They make the whole thing smell very bad. There are special deals all around the country, and that’s why I think people are irritated not only with the substance but the process.
“I hope we won’t be trying to put lipstick on that pig the Senate passed. The thing is bad, bad, bad for healthcare, for jobs, and for the entire economy.”
Asked if passage of the healthcare bill will embolden President Obama and the Democrats to forge ahead with other items on their agenda, including cap-and-trade, Bond tells Newsmax:
“I hope it will not. But as I believe the president has said, passage of this government takeover of healthcare — he didn’t call it that, I did — is a template for how we’re going to deal with the rest of the economy. If they do that, we are rapidly going to become like a socialist country, with government making the decisions, which I think will destroy jobs, and people will really understand what a serious mistake this was.”
The healthcare bill includes a provision making the federal government the originator of all student loans and not just the guarantor of loans from private lending institutions.
Bond says that will “destroy private sector student loan insurance, which would affect 15 million families and throw out of work 20,000 people and replace them with four federal call centers around the nation that families will have to apply to for student loans. That kind of thing is an outrage to be in reconciliation.”
Asked about the dramatic expansion of Medicaid called for by the bill, Bond said: “The burdens on the state are horrific. I think in my state of Missouri, the estimates were $200 to $300 million more in Medicaid expenses.
“Most state budgets are strapped. States are fighting hard to deal with the budget shortfalls they have, and that Medicaid burden is another pail of water on drowning state budgets.”
Obama is now hitting the road in an attempt to sell the healthcare bill to angry voters. But Bond asserts: “If they tell the truth, I don’t think minds will change. But we found that some of his previous assertions about the bill were not true.
“I hope that the media and certainly the Republicans will be checking to see if his statements accurately reflect what the bill does.”
Bond likened the Democrats’ support for the healthcare bill despite widespread voter opposition to a “kamikaze mission.”
He says: “I’ve never seen anything that has ignited and infuriated so many people as this healthcare government takeover.”
About the Republicans’ chances in the November elections, Bond states: “I think we’ll be seeing a lot of new Republican faces on the Hill. I don’t know how many.
“I hope that the people who are concerned will continue to voice their concerns to their elected representatives, now and at the polls in November.”
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