11.10.09

Enzi Concerned with Delays in H1N1 Vaccine, Warns Mandates on Small Business Not Prescription for Pandemic

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the SenateHealth, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today criticized the federalgovernment's preparation and response to the H1N1 virus, saying vaccine production anddistribution cannot continue to fall short of the public's need.

"The Administration promised vaccines that they have not delivered, and I haveserious concerns that the vaccines that have become available are not reaching high riskpopulations," Enzi said at today’s HELP Committee hearing titled, “The Cost of Being Sick:H1N1 and Paid Sick Days.”

"Families across the country are worried, and delays in distributing the vaccine arecreating new fears about the federal government's ability to protect public health," Enzicontinued.

Additionally, Enzi warned that legislation mandating paid sick days would furtherendanger the nation’s fragile economy and undermine efforts employers are already taking toprotect their workers.

"Many employers are not able to maintain current payrolls, which is evidenced by therise in unemployment to a 26-year high at 10.2 percent. If this bill is enacted, employers willbe forced to adjust somewhere either by reducing current healthcare or retirement benefits,or by downsizing their number of employees and adding to the ranks of the unemployed," heconcluded.

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