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Marking the one-year anniversary of the most sweeping health care legislation that the federal government has ever produced, Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today said reform is turning out to be an empty promise that threatens jobs, small businesses and the financial security of families across the country.

         During a news conference today, with senators from the HELP and Finance Committees, Enzi focused on a string of disappointments resulting from the bill, including:
·         $500 billion in Medicare cuts and $500 billion in tax increases.
·         Unrivaled expansion of the federal government’s involvement in the lives of everyday Americans.
·         Dramatic increases in health insurance premiums, including a 59 percent increase announced by the not-for-profit California insurer,  Blue Shield, for some of their individual market plans.
·         Costly changes in tax laws, such as the 1099 form requirement, which, on top of higher health insurance premiums, will force employers to eliminate jobs and reduce wages.

“When the Administration’s own estimates say 80 percent of small businesses will lose their current insurance plans and be forced to purchase more expensive plans, it is clear this is not the right prescription for health reform,” Enzi said. “Congress needs to pursue a step-by-step, bipartisan approach to health reform that will reduce costs, expand coverage and allow our economy to expand. This law will not help us reach that goal – not ever.”

Enzi promised to focus on ways to eliminate provisions in the new law that will increase choice in health care while decreasing health care costs.

“We must make health care more affordable, both for consumers and the federal taxpayer,” he said.