August 29th, 2009
09:52 PM ET
9 years ago

GOP senator blasts Dems health care proposals

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Bipartisan support may have faded further from reality Saturday when the ranking member of the Senate Health Committee condemned Democratic health care proposals which he said would “make our nation’s finances sicker.”

In the GOP’s weekly radio and Internet address, Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyoming, said that a comprehensive health care reform bill should decrease costs and be deficit-neutral. He said that the Democratic bills put forth “fail to meet these standards.”

Democrats have proposed some cuts to Medicare which would be used to cover uninsured Americans. Enzi accused Democrats of “raid[ing] Medicare” and said “savings from Medicare should only be used to strengthen Medicare.”

“These bills would expand comparative effectiveness research that would be used to limit or deny care based on age or disability of patients,” Enzi said.

Enzi also said that his colleagues in the Senate have put forth amendments that would “protect Americans by prohibiting the rationing of their health care.” He continued, “The Democrats showed their true intent by voting every amendment down.”

After making clear Republicans’ dismay with Democratic proposals, Enzi urged President Obama and Democrats in Congress to “reject the go-it-alone path that they are currently on.”

Filed under: Health care • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. WIll 18E

    The debate for health care reform would not be taking place, if and if for one reason. That individuals can purchase health care coverage, just as employers do. The GOP will say that businesses should not be responsible for employee heath care benefits, or retirement funds.
    Yet the GOP will not support laws to allow individuals the same access to Health care products as an employer. Nor will they support self directed 401K's. Like a communist regime if you want health care you have work for it, never mind if you can afford it or your employer does not offer it.

    The only way the GOP wants you to access health care is like working for Chiquita Banana on the la funda, and only buying from the company store.

    August 29, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  2. The Film Professor

    One more tool of the health insurance lobby weighs in. Sigh. I really wish guys like this would just shut the hell up.

    The health insurance system in this country is BROKEN. Rationing already takes place in the form of health insurance bean counters who routinely deny their clients needed care. People are afraid to leave their jobs if they have a pre-existing condition. Entrepreneurs find their monthly health insurance costs out of sight expensive, and with high deductibles.

    Those of you who have good plans - good for you. But how about having some compassion for the millions of your fellow Americans who are getting screwed by this system? How about demanding more of your representatives and Senators, particularly the Republicans, who don't have answers to anything except to maintain this horrible status quo.

    August 29, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  3. Terry from West Texas

    Conservatives are opposed to this bill primarily for tactical advantage. They want this Administration to fail so they can return to power (They probably imagine that they will do a better job of running the nation when they once again control the government.)

    Preventing Obama's health bill from passing will weaken his ability to lead. Passing a health care bill would make him stronger, which Conservatives cannot allow.

    Now of course the middle and lower classes will suffer as a result of Conservative Republicans in Congress gumming up the works for selfish political advantage, but that is just collateral damage as far as Conservatives are concerned. They would rather rule a weak nation than help govern a strong one. Strong words, but they describe what I see.

    August 29, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  4. Mitch

    Dear goes both ways. Please don't assume you have all the answers, because if you did then we'd never vote Democrat. Please don't assume that failure to adopt your idea means a failure overall.

    You have an opportunity to show America you are no longer sore losers of an election you couldn't win. Offer real ideas and real solutions, not just criticism and blind faith in a political ideology that currently resides in Intensive Care.

    In fact, consider your own health care when considering what you've denied 50 million Americans in favor of war.

    August 29, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  5. Independent

    This self absorbing, non-starter opportunistic fool should cross the eisle and join his ilk – if they'll take him. He's sacrificing integrity because of the money and greed he has been handed by lobby groups. Healthcare will pass. The losers submitted in the election because we spoke out but they seem to still belch hot air. So, my fellow independents and dems, it is time for the kung fu grip. Let's go.

    August 29, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  6. texas buddha

    The party of "no" strikes again. When they aren't making things up about imaginary "death panels" they are trying to scare old people about their medicare. They don't want government run health care because anything the government touches doesn't run right, but, oh wait, don't mess with medicare... Uh, wait... Medicare is a government run health care program. Whoops.

    These scare tactics are tired. They were tired before the election and they are tired now. The litmus test for where health care reform should be going is in whatever direction the Republicans and the lobbyists for the insurance industry tell us not to go in. That's where we want to be.

    The public option will drive down health care costs by creating competition. That is why the health care industry is fighting against it. That is why they are bussing protesters into town hall meetings to shout down debate.

    Give us the public option now.

    August 29, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  7. Tom

    How ridiculous. The Democrats have put forth nothing that will result in rationing health care. Only the Republicans are opposed to equal access to health care. If the current status quo is maintained they will have achieved their aim of preventing equal access to health care for all Americans. They believe that only the rich should have unfettered access to health care. They believe that middle and low income Americans should eat dirt.
    Not very nice of them!

    August 29, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. dustin

    You know how i like my health care reform done? without republicans.

    August 29, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. don

    same old tactics. they are so trivia.
    where is the gop alternate proposal?
    fear and hate mongers!
    so backward and play of the ignorant masses by injecting fear.aside hate,fear and bashing , whatelse does the party offer/

    August 29, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  10. John Y Des Plaines IL

    Sorry but the voters wanted something different than you have been offering and single payer non-profit health care for all american citizens is what WE want. We, you know, the WE who pays your salery, the WE you swore to defend and protect, the WE who have had enough of the lies, waste and stealing you have allowed to go on. The middle class has spoken and you better listen old man. Time to speed up the DEMOCRATIC process and give them a dose of the contract on Amerika they shoved down our throats with Newt and the gang. Take their course and make it a simple majority vote and pass everything, haelth reform, election reform, repeal the Reagan tax cuts, eliminate lobbiest money, green energy, to start with.

    August 29, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  11. Ben

    The #1 thing that would decrease costs is a public option... So I'm sure Enzi will support it.

    If he's so concerned about our finances, where was he when we were marching to war in Iraq while cutting taxes?

    August 29, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  12. David

    As usual another- big on protest, short on ideas- obstructionist message from Republicans. They had almost 8 years to fix health care, do you really think they have any ideas of their own?

    All they do is protect the insurance Co.s who line their pockets come reelection time.

    Just look who called DeMint a "national hero"- the CEO of Kaiser-Permenente. BTW I wonder how his pr stunt "hunger strike" is going.

    August 29, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  13. mrokemwa

    I guess politics never stops even when we cerebrate the life of a crucial in our history. Iam annoyed.

    August 29, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  14. Obama63

    Shame on you, Republicans! You are so far away from anything you preach about I really hope you will experience the heavenly punishment you deserve. Help the poor and the ill? They wouldn't help their own grandma if the Health Insurance Companies ordered them to do so.
    There is a moral limit to anything, and this is it! If it were for them, we wouldn't have Civil Rights, Medicare,public schools, public USPS and possibly public bathrooms in the airports!
    Money and special interests is what drives them; then they go to mass on Sunday morning, get their communion and think everythink is ok. But that won't remove all the uninsured people soffering because of their obstructionism of the health bill from their conscience! That stain will remin in their history forever, something their children wil be ashamed of! And that's the word: SHAME!

    August 29, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  15. Sharon

    The cuts proposed to Medicare are cuts such as – – -if a patient has to go back in the hospital within a short period after being in the hospital, there is no need to repeat certain tests. I work in a hospital & whether you have been out of the hospital for only 1 or 2 days & are readmitted to the hospital, patients ALWAYS get a chest x-ray on readmission to the hospital. This is an EXAMPLE of what is meant when they are talking about cuts to Medicare. Those of us with private insurance should wish our coverage would be handled in much the same way, to keep our premiums from going higher, higher, & higher.

    August 29, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  16. Wnbresn

    Look its pretty clear to all that the Republican minority is in the pockets of both big insurance and big pharma. Their actions during the Bush years proves this. Its time to listen to those 47 million out there like myself who don't have health care and can't get health care due to pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies make money NOT by helping those who need medical care but by denying coverage. Tell the Republicans to cram it and get the public option in there....

    August 29, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  17. Kevin

    Senator Enzi, please tell us.....WHAT IS THE REPUBLICAN ALTERNATIVE PLAN? Put up or shut up.

    If the Republicans really cared so much about fixing the health care/insurance system why didn't they do something about it during the 12 years they controlled Congress (1995-2007)?

    Senator Enzi, if you won't use your power to fix this horrid mess, at least stand aside and let the Democrats at least try to do something.

    August 29, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  18. Bill

    I am a life long Republican but I'm not quite so stupid as to believe this guy. Ask him what HIS health care plan is like. Let him give up his government health care and see how he screams.

    August 29, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  19. independent

    On the night of the burial of Teddy Kennedy, the Senator for whom health care reform was a life-long dream, a cold-hearted, GOP, insurance- funded political hack is trying to put out the flame.

    The Party of No apparently doesn't take time off for burials, nor honor the dead, nor relent from holding back dream of fairness in American health care.

    But the work begins anew; the touch is passed on; and the dream will be realized despite the obstacles before us. This is America.

    August 29, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  20. Doug Harrod

    The GOP has no desire to change the present system for a good reason. It is called campaign financing. Why would they want to kick around a huge source of campaign finance for their party? The status quo, which creates what I call "health exclusion insurance", will continue to refuse claims (rationing?), to not cover obvious medical conditions (example: autism, sorry Mr. Savage autism is a medical condition not just "bad behavior"), to increase deductible amounts, to exempt coverage for prior medical conditions and force people who are uninsured to resort to emergency room health care (which all of us with insurance pay for in increased cost of our coverage).
    When I ran for an Assembly Seat in Wisconsin I talked to person after person, young and old, who said we must reform the system. They need to have the courage to speak out and not be bullied with the name-calling and heckling they encounter at meetings. Health care access is absolutely necessary for people to live a full and productive life.

    August 29, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  21. We've arrived, say hello

    Yeah, oh holy one, tell the fools who believe you more nonesense. You seem healthy and bright in your self created light above your head...nice. You're no Jesus. Continue to propagate to them and create more lies instead of taking a higher road. American youth is smarter than you, old man. I am a Jesus loving, bible thumping kind of guy. But Sir, I don't subscribe to your illness.

    August 29, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  22. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Compromise til it hurts but keep your fundamental goals in mind.

    August 29, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  23. m smith

    tell all the repos to just shut up. After listening to the service for senator Kennedy I really dont want to hear from these clowns . Give it a rest for a few days at least.

    August 29, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  24. KO

    Republicans have shown that all they care about is blocking meaningful reform so Obama can't get credit for anything. The Democrats need to go it alone...they won the last two elections fair and square, and those elections should mean something. Plus it's the only way anything truly meaningful on health care reform (which should be, lest we forget, about helping the 45 million Americans who don't have health insurance get it).

    August 29, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  25. ChristianK

    These senators and congressmen are afraid the insurance & pharmaceutical companies will fund the campaigns of other candidates and they'll lose their jobs. What a shame.

    Support health care reform with a goverment option, so you don't have to live in fear of losing your job, having a pre-existing condition, going bankrupt, etc.

    The time is now!!

    August 29, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
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