04.24.09

ENZI: RECONCILIATION CLOSES THE DOOR ON GOOD, BIPARTISAN HEALTH CARE REFORM

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the SenateHealth, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today issued the following statementin response to reports that Democrats may misuse budget reconciliation to bypass a full, fairlegislative process on health care reform:

“For lasting, comprehensive health care reform to work and for Americans to really haveconfidence in the plan, we need 75 or 80 Senators supporting the plan – not just 51. Health carereform won’t just affect the uninsured, or those on Medicare and Medicaid – it will affect everyAmerican, every company, and every health care provider.

“If health care reform is done wrong, millions of Americans will lose the health carecoverage they have now, and be forced onto government-run, taxpayer-funded programs. Thiswill break the President’s promise that Americans who like the coverage they have can keep it.

“There has never been a bill with so many moving parts and with life-and-death implications for so many people. That’s why every Senator should have a voice. The Americanpeople deserve the best bill we can write, and that requires a full, open debate. Trying to move ahealth care reform bill on reconciliation would rehash the Pelosi war cry, ‘We won the election,we get to write the bills.’ This kind of partisanship disenfranchises millions of Americans, andit’s wrong. They are looking for common sense solutions not party messages. The Americanpeople deserve a good, bipartisan bill, but using reconciliation will make that impossible.

“Including reconciliation language in the budget conference report, even as a so-calledbackstop would make it clear that Democrats don’t want to negotiate with Republicans ormoderate Democrats, and might lead many to walk away from the table. I urge my Democraticcolleagues to rethink their decision to include reconciliation instructions in the budget conferencereport, so that we can get back to working in good faith on comprehensive, bipartisan reform.”

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