Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today issued the following statement on Thursday’s White House summit on health care reform:
“Like most Americans, I agree that our health care system needs reform. I am looking forward to meeting with President Obama and my Congressional colleagues this week. There are serious problems in our health care system. Costs are too high and insurance is unaffordable for too many Americans. But none of these problems will be solved without a responsible, bipartisan bill, and that’s why I’m sitting down with the President on Thursday.
“It disappoints me to hear that initial reports are that the White House and Congressional leaders still do not seem to be listening to the American people who want us to start over and fix health care step by step, starting with reining in rising costs. Let’s focus on a couple of these ideas, get them done, then move on to the next step. We can’t swallow the apple whole, which is what the majority’s recent bills have attempted to do. We have to chew on it bite by bite. Since most changes in health care reform don't start for four years - even though new taxes will start right away - we can beat the time by doing significant piece after significant piece.
“The key to bipartisanship is starting in the right place, the same place, and then going step by step forward together. Fixing health care is no different. If the President wants to start with another warmed-over version of the majority’s failed bill, it will be a major disappointment for all Americans.
“We need to get the threat of reconciliation off the table. It’s a process that was meant to keep government spending in check – not provide a back door for Congress to saddle the taxpayers with trillions of dollars in new federal spending and debt that will cost jobs and slow economic growth for generations to come.
“I hope we can talk about sensible, but fundamental changes in health care – changes that will lower costs, get as many folks covered as possible, and lead to more and better choices in health care for everyone.”