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Enzi: I had a plan for fixing health care before President Obama became a senator

Discusses Obamacare’s failures: higher premiums, fewer options, loss of coverage

November 20, 2013

During a Senate Small Business Committee hearing today on the small business exchanges required under President Obama’s health care law, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., discussed solutions he offered to fix America’s health care system long before President Obama became a U.S. senator. Enzi also discussed the benefit of allowing small businesses to shop across state lines and  moving forward with market-based reforms that would interject more competition into the health insurance market.

“One part of my ten step plan to fix heath care was small business health plans. We had an opportunity to do that. That would have allowed small businesses to group together through their association, any association across state lines, nationwide so they'd have a big enough group they could effectively negotiate with any insurance company,” said Enzi. “Another one of my proposals would have provided a lot of advantages to small businesses by allowing them to self-insure with those big groups.”

Enzi has repeatedly said that unfortunately, those are not available under Obamacare because the president refused to seriously consider alternative ideas at the time he campaigned for his health care law.   

“Small business owners of Wyoming are asking me what can be done. Wyoming didn't do an exchange. It's less populated than the District of Columbia. We only have two insurance companies that are interested in serving there. We only had two providers providing prescriptions until we bid Medicare Part D. One of the things that surprised us, 48 companies wanted the business in Wyoming. Even though it is a small populated state. And what was the effect? Before the law even went into effect, it dropped prices by 25% and gave people choices. We could have had that same thing here. But we don't.”

Enzi also discussed the burdens being placed on small business by Obamacare and how nothing is being done to unburden them from the regulations that are preventing hiring, slowing the economy, and undermining business’ bottom line.

“We often hear folks on both sides make remarks about small businesses being the backbone of the U.S. economy and the driver of our economic growth.  How are we helping our small businesses expand their businesses, hire more employees and continue to grow our economy when we burden them with regulations and break promises made that affect their ability to provide health care coverage for their employees and themselves – effectively undermining their bottom line? The short answer is, we’re not,” said Enzi.

In 2010, Enzi warned that businesses would lose the health insurance they liked for their employees and would be force to cut hours. His prediction, based on a reading of the Obama Administration’s own regulations, has come true.    

Click here to read an op-ed Senator Enzi recently wrote on the false promises of Obamacare.

Click here to read more about Senator Enzi’s 10 steps to transform health care.