Following President Obama's speech on health care reform to Congress Wednesday, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), released a statement, saying he appreciated that "the president finally provided some specific details of his health care plan." The only problem, he said, was that "for an issue of this magnitude, he was not specific enough."
Chambliss also indicated that he agreed with many of the president's points, including an end to insurance penalties for pre-existing conditions, and the ability of a worker to take his or her insurance with them from job to job.
publican House members, waving copies of their health-care bill
during President Barack Obama's speech on health-care to a joint
session of Congress, Wednesday, Sept., 9, 2009.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
His statement also seemed to say that he was happy that the president was open to a tort reform piece of the overall bill. "We should be discouraging junk lawsuits and the practice of defensive medicine that drives up medical bills," he said.
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), was much less generous, calling the president's words "a hodgepodge of misguided ideas," and insisting, "The only real game-changer tonight would have been for the president to say he’s ready to start over and embrace bipartisan solutions."
Chambliss, who is one of eight Republicans on the Senate Special Committee on Aging, also said that he was concerned that long range plans to cut Medicare spending would hurt those who benefit most from the government program. "We shouldn't be raiding seniors' Medicare to pay for billions of dollars in new government spending," he said.
Georgia's Junior Senator, Johnny Isakson (R), said he was also concerned about the future costs, especially of a publicly funded insurance option. "I am not going to be a part of mortgaging my kids' futures," he told the Albany Banner Herald, "by driving Americans to a government-run health care system we can't afford."
Isakson also agreed with Chambliss that the president provided some answers, Wednesday, "but he raised many more."
Chambliss urged caution. "We can't afford to get this wrong," he said in his statement. "We can't afford arbitrary deadlines. We need meaningful reform, not reform for reform's sake."