STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN ON THE MEDICARE CONFERENCE REPORTFour months later, the "shocking scandal".
Mr. President, we have before us a conference report that represents one of the biggest expansions of the Medicare entitlement program, and offers enormous profits and protections for a few of the country’s most powerful interest groups, paid for with the borrowed money of American taxpayers for generations and generations to come. This legislation most reminds me of the ancient Medieval practice of leeching. Every special interest in Washington is attaching itself to this legislation and sucking Medicare dry. We do not need leeching, what we need is reform.
On top of the existing $7 trillion accumulated deficit -- which translates into $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States -- this year’s current deficit is quickly approaching a half trillion dollars. Adding a new unfunded entitlement to a system that is already financially insolvent, is so grossly irresponsible that it ought to outrage every fiscal conservative.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, this package is estimated to cost just under $400 billion over ten years. But if you believe that is the maximum we will spend over ten years, I’ve got some beach front property in Gila Bend to sell you. My friends, $400 billion is merely a down payment.
No wonder McCain is said to be the most respected politician in America. As to the rumor of the Kerry-McCain ticket, note I wrote it first. (Though I don't believe it will happen.)