06.10.09

Enzi: Democrats' Proposal Would Force Americans Into Second-Rate Health Care Program

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today said that the Democrats’ proposal to expand Medicaid would force about 50 million Americans into a health care program that may not meet their needs and drive up costs for the rest of the country.

“The Democrats’ proposal would lock 50 million Americans into a second-tier health care program where they couldn’t see their choice of doctors or get the care they need,” Enzi said. “Forty percent of medical providers won’t see Medicaid patients. Coverage is worthless without access. Forcing more Americans into Medicaid is no way to expand access to quality health care.

“Rather than expanding unsustainable government-run plans that provide substandard care, we should give low-income people subsidies to purchase quality health insurance.” Enzi has voiced concern over Senate Democrats’ proposed expansion of Medicaid to cover Americans earning 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, citing the millions of families who will inevitably lose their coverage as 17 percent of the population is driven into government-run care.

“When Medicaid expands, people lose their health insurance,” Enzi said. “This proposal breaks the promise we’ve heard time and again from Democrats, that if you like the care you have, you can keep it.”

Like other government-run health care programs, Medicaid underpays health care providers for their services. Many doctors refuse to see Medicaid patients; the rest make up the difference by overcharging their other patients.

“When government-run programs underpay doctors, then doctors have to charge other patients more – it’s that simple. If we force millions more Americans onto Medicaid, costs will go up for everyone else.

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