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Enzi: High-Risk Patients Must Be Top Priority
Concerned New Law Fails to Protect Patients with Pre-existing Conditions
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, led Senate Republicans today in sending a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius requesting a response regarding the Administration’s missed deadline for establishing the new high risk pool program.  The letter also requested a response to recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis stating that high risk pool provisions in the new law provide coverage to only 200,000 individuals, leaving nearly half a million people with pre-existing conditions without coverage. 
“The response I received from CBO regarding the high-risk pool program was disappointing, said Enzi.  “The $5 billion meant to protect those with pre-existing conditions will run out long before 2013 and up to $10 billion in additional funding will be needed for the millions of Americans that need this coverage.”
“Given the importance of the high risk pool program and the reliance on this program of millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions and life-threatening diseases, it is crucial that this program be fixed and fully funded,” said Enzi.  “I am disturbed by the Administration’s failure to fund this program and my colleagues and I want answers about when this assistance will be provided and how much it will take to actually provide the coverage promised.”

Enzi’s letter to Sebelius requested answers to the following questions by the end of the month:
1.    When will the money authorized under the new health reform law be distributed to those states that have agreed to participate in the new high risk pool program?
2.    When will you provide funding to operate high risk pools in the 19 states that have declined to participate in the new federal program?
3.    Please identify how many individuals are estimated to be covered under the new high risk pool, year by year through 2014.
Click HERE to view Enzi’s letter.
Note: Senators Alexander, Barrasso, Bond, Bunning, Burr, Coburn, Cochran, Collins, Cornyn, Crapo, DeMint, Ensign, Graham, Grassley, Gregg, Hatch, Hutchison, Inhofe, Isakson, Johanns, LeMieux, McCain, McConnell, Murkowski, Risch, Roberts, Sessions, Thune, Voinovich and Wicker joined Enzi writing HHS Secretary Sebelius.