03.10.09

ENZI: HEALTH CARE REFORM MUST PRESERVE PATIENT CHOICE OF PROVIDER AND PLAN

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member of the SenateHealth, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today said health care reformlegislation must expand, not reduce, meaningful choices for patients, and should not forceAmericans to lose their existing coverage. Enzi said he will work with Congress to protect Medicare Advantage plans, which servemillions of seniors.

“We should not pay for health care reform by slashing programs and eliminatingchoices,” Enzi said. “The President said repeatedly during his campaign that Americans who likethe health insurance they have would keep their existing plans in his Administration. His budgetproposal undercuts that promise. I plan to work with Congressional leaders to preserve choicesfor seniors in the Medicare program and for all Americans.”

At today’s Finance Committee hearing titled, “The President’s Fiscal Year 2010 HealthCare Proposals,” Enzi said Congress must work to present a reform bill to the President thatexpands coverage, reduces costs, and gives patients real choices.

“We need to drive down costs and produce better value by promoting robust, free marketcompetition that benefits patients and ensures higher quality, more affordable health careoptions,” Enzi said. “Vigorous competition is the best way to reduce costs, encourage Americaninnovation and ingenuity, and protect the rights of patients to choose the physicians and healthcare providers that best meet their needs.” Enzi also explained that there is no such thing as free healthcare, especially if it’s agovernment plan.

“Our meetings on health care reform have driven high expectations. My biggest concernis that many now believe the government will provide every need – and it will be free. Free is notpossible. Whether it is a payment in premiums every month or something like the Medicare taxyou see coming out of your paycheck, everyone but the very poor will pay for it. Our challengeis how can we help you pay less, while still giving you access to more.

“Government-run health care would rob patients of the right to select the plans andproviders that meet their needs, take medical decisions out of doctors’ hands and place them intothe hands of Washington bureaucrats, and come with a yet another multi-trillion dollar price tagto the American taxpayer.”

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