06.11.09

What’s in the Fine Print? Sidewalks, Grocery Stores, and Jungle Gyms HELP Committee Democrats’ Bill Chock-full of Wasteful Spending

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of theSenate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the Senate’sonly accountant, today criticized wasteful spending in a health care reform bill releasedby HELP Committee Democrats this week.

“The Kennedy-Dodd bill will pave sidewalks, build jungle gyms, and open grocerystores, but it won’t bring down health care costs or make quality coverage moreaffordable,” Enzi said. “In a time of record debt and deficits, how can Democrats justifythe wasteful spending in this bill?

“We need to root out the waste, fraud and abuse that is driving up health carecosts – not create a whole slew of new wasteful programs,” said Enzi, the only Senatorto serve on the HELP, Finance and Budget Committees, which share jurisdiction overhealth care reform.

The HELP Committee Democrats’ bill would:

• Establish a “Community Makeover Program” to spend billions to beautify streets,up to $10 per person in selected communities;• Fund a federal government program to build new sidewalks and bike paths, andput up street lights;• Finance new grocery stores and farmers’ markets;• Revoke employers rights to provide free wellness benefits to employees;• Mandate that a new Washington health police bureaucracy dictate what localrestaurants can offer their customers; and,• Subsidize community projects like building jungle gyms in parks.“Some of these programs may have value, but this is the wrong bill at the wrongtime,” Enzi said. “With our nation’s health and economy at stake, this bill must not turninto a Christmas list for every partisan interest group in Washington.”####

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