Just recently, I spent four days traveling around the state to bring attention to one of our country's most pressing national crises: health care. For years, I’ve been asking my fellow legislators to do something – anything – to address the skyrocketing costs of health care coverage and the increasing number of uninsured Americans. Unfortunately, Congress has done little to address the rapidly escalating situation, so this past month, I took to the road on my 10 Steps, 10 Stops tour across Wyoming to discuss my “10 Steps to Transform Health Care in America” bill (S. 1783).
I covered more than 1,100 miles over the course of the four-day tour and hosted meetings in 10 Wyoming towns with great success. Hundreds of folks attended the meetings, and at each stop, it was clear that Wyoming residents are just as concerned about health care as I am.
In our state, the health care crisis is particularly acute. On average, one in five Wyoming residents is uninsured and more and more residents are losing what coverage they do have. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that more than 70 percent of Wyoming employers are small businesses, who find it nearly impossible to afford health care coverage for their employees.
While the statistics underscore the true urgency of this problem, the good news is that change is possible and within our reach. The fourth step in my 10 Steps bill is a provision that would create small business health plans by allowing for cross-state pooling. Small businesses should have the ability to come together across state lines to leverage their combined negotiating power for the benefits they want at affordable prices. Currently, there are no laws allowing for this, and it’s a huge detriment to our state. I invite you to log on to my Web site, enzi.senate.gov, to learn more about my 10 Steps bill and small business health plans.
With the feedback and support I received from Wyoming residents on the 10 Steps, 10 Stops tour, I’ll be returning to the Senate with great ideas and momentum for moving forward with my bill and the implementation of small business health plans. I am dedicated to shaping the landscape of health care in this country, especially on behalf of the small businesses that drive Wyoming’s economy. Thank you for all that you do, and know that I’ll be fighting for you in Washington.
- U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee