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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., told President Elect Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cabinet nominee, former Senator Tom Daschle, not to rush to federalize health care.

Enzi warned that expanding insurance coverage through more government-run bureaucracies would lead to less competition which leads to more complexity, inefficiency and higher costs for taxpayers. Enzi also re-iterated the importance of all reforms going through the regular committee process to ensure the best and final product is presented to the Senate for consideration. Circumventing the tried and true committee process leads to bad legislation with astronomical price tags.

“Forcing private plans to compete with federal programs, with their price controls and ability to shift costs to tax payers, will inevitably doom true competition and could ultimately lead to a single payer, government-run health care program. Any new insurance coverage must be delivered through private health insurance plans,” said Enzi, Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The committee held a hearing today in order for members to hear from and question Daschle.

“I am hopeful we can work together to build on shared commitments to reduce the number of uninsured, contain costs, improve quality and make health care more accessible for everyone,” said Enzi. “I have read Senator Daschle’s health care book and he has studied my 10 Steps to Transform Health Care in America legislation. We are willing to listen and work with each other.”

The head of the HHS controls Medicaid and Medicare and would play a central role in any changes to the nation’s health care and health care insurance systems, many of the same issues the HELP Committee oversees.