US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Enzi Asks Secretary Sebelius To Address Premium Increases, Reduced Coverage Resulting From Health Care Law

Thursday, January 27, 2011HELP Committee Press Office (202) 224-6770

Washington, D.C. – In a hearing today, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, drew a sharp focus on some of the early consequences of the massive health care reform bill pushed through Congress and now being forced on the nation’s families and employers.

“We recognize that there are individuals who will benefit from a few of the provisions in the law, but it will force Americans to buy the type of health insurance that Washington thinks they should have,” Enzi said.  “Americans will not have the luxury of picking which parts of the new law apply to them, but instead will have to comply with all 2,700 pages of new mandates, taxes and limitations on their freedom.”

Among the problems Washington has created under the new law, Enzi highlighted:

- Children in 20 states total are not able to get child only health insurance;

- Millions of seniors on Medicare are facing a steep increase in their out-of-pocket costs and more than a $500 billion reduction in benefits; and

- Cash-strapped state governments will be burdened with an additional 16 million Americans forced onto Medicaid rolls, as required by the new law.

“Because of the new law, employers across the country will be forced to lay off workers and reduce wages as their health care costs continue to increase as a result of all the new taxes in the law that will increase their health care costs,” Enzi added. Employers will be required to offer health insurance or pay $52 billion in new taxes, he warned.

He noted the plight of a disabled Wyoming veteran, covered by veterans’ health benefits, was unable to purchase health insurance for his children, since no insurance carriers in that state are writing new child only policies since passage of the health care reform law. 

As Ranking Member, Enzi will conduct a thorough review of the scale back of child only health insurance, and will release preliminary findings of the availability of child only policies in each state today. As the law continues to be implemented, Enzi said he will focus on ways to eliminate the provisions that limit basic freedoms, and will work to enact reforms that will focus on increasing consumer choices and decreasing health care costs. 

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