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. normajean

    Amazing, the Republicans can take a stand on of them can What amendments that the Democrats turned down is he talking about? I haven't heard a single possitive thing said by a Republican in months.NO NO No, that's all I've heard. Say what you will, The Republicans have made no effort to be bi-partisan since Obama became president. Not just the health plan, but everything else that the Democrats have attempted to do has been put down by the other side. August is over so the Repubs. should be back in session.Fasten your seatbelts folks, we're off and running.

    August 29, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  2. John

    Partisan opposition to health care reform is suspicious. There is no doubt that we need universal health care, but the opposition makes it appear that some details make this untenable. Any politician who does not support universal health care is not looking out for my health, and thus will find it difficult to gain my vote. I would like to see positive recommendations on the part of the loyal opposition, rather than knee-jerk opposition. Obviously, the insurance industry is by far the most important opposition, and they know how to effectively make their position known.

    August 29, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  3. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Why does the government make automobile insurance mandatory and not health insurance? Is it because cars are important?

    August 29, 2009 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  4. CAW in MD

    Wow, how many red herrings can you put in one speech?

    1) Comparative research is designed to deny care? Odd, I thought it was to make sure we used the most effective treatments. But there's a compromise to be had here - Republicans want limits on frivolous lawsuits, Democrats want comparative research. Agree to reduce frivolous lawsuits as long as the doctors followed the recommendations produced by the comparative research.

    2) If Enzi doesn't want Democrats to go it alone, then he should start talking to his colleagues about really coming to the table and bargaining, as opposed to just complaining. They say they want health care reform - prove it.

    August 30, 2009 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  5. T Mckinley

    We wouldn't have Medicare today if the Democrats hadn't gone it alone. And if Sen. Enzi would have been a Senator when LBJ and the Democrats went it alone and "rammed" Medicare down our throats, he would have been saying the same thing then as he is now.

    Let's stop playing these hypocritical games. The Republicans don't want health care reform, period. We know it. They know it.

    August 30, 2009 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  6. T Mckinley

    Any Republican who feigns defending Medicare in order to stop health care reform is an intellectually dishonest hypocrite.

    August 30, 2009 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  7. Losing the Base!

    As a former local Republican Leader turning sharply Dem, I am dismayed and disapponted by the GOP rhetoric and choices. As an informed and intelligent voter, I can no longer support this Party.

    August 30, 2009 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  8. Gene

    Why is it that every western country in the world has found a way to insure all their citizens at a much lower cost than we're paying now, yet here in the US, we're afraid to follow that very simple formula.

    It's very easy...

    Take the medical decisions away from the insurance companies and give it to the doctors...

    Take the profit out of insurance and use it to provide services...

    Stop letting drug companies control the price of the drugs.. if they want to compete, let them compete with the companies in Canada or other countries that provide the exact same medicine for 1/10 of the price.

    We're putting ourselves in this position. We're fighting to let insurance companies and drug companies have a total monopoly when it comes to health care costs.

    We're the idiots here... and this guy speaking is amongst those idiots who believes that letting insurance companies regulate health care cost is more efficient than covering EVERYONE for a fraction of the cost.

    I am NOT PROUD of my country right now.

    August 30, 2009 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  9. jane

    What these people mean is that the proposed health care reform would make insurance companies sicker. i believe our economy would improve with health care reform, not to mention the fact that health care costs would diminish drastically.
    Naturally, these companies are not going to voluntarily give up the obscenely high profit they are making at the expense of the sick and injured among our citizens.
    For that matter - think about it - the current health care industry has come to hold enormous power over our lives whether we are sick or well.

    August 30, 2009 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  10. CR

    What's left of the GOP becomes more irrelevant every week. Obstructing health care reform hastens their demise.

    August 30, 2009 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  11. eolufemi

    Republicans love to play hardball.

    Obama propose a temporary 3% sales tax. That'll generate 3 trillion dollars over 10 years, which not only pays for health care but starts to pay down the debt.

    If you're really feeling yourself, you'll raise it to about 5% and make the bush tax cuts permanent for everybody earning less than $300k.

    Couple that with a a cap and trade, and you've created a surplus, provided health coverage for all Americans, and reduced greenhouse emissions.

    Get us out of Iraq, and put a timetable on Afghanistan and you go down as the greatest American president of the modern era.

    August 30, 2009 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  12. Jimbo C

    Wow what a chess move by the Democrats. A few years back it was the Republicans that wanted to take money out of Medicare, now with the threat of a health care bill Republicans now are championing funding for Medicare...I love it it is sooo cool to turn a group one hundred and eighty degrees. I wonder if they even know what happened????

    August 30, 2009 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  13. The Truth

    This just goes to show you that the Republicans have no shame. While the nation mourns a passing of one of its great political figures, the lobbyist-controlled, George Bush Republicans are at it again. And they couldn't wait until his body is laid to rest.

    The Part of No is the party of NO SHAME.

    August 30, 2009 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  14. gtekam

    I hear from those who carry a flag and a ribbon on their car, this message:

    "We support our troops. We (our country, I) ask that they give their life, leg or head for our country, to protect us (our country, me) from harm. ...

    Yet I can't give a pocket change to protect those fellow Americans from harm of sickness".

    What 's laughable is that even those asking the government to leave their healthcare alone, are on medicare.!!!

    August 30, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  15. Steve

    it is funny how the republicans didnt say anything when bush was spending wild and doubled the nationail debt in 8 years

    August 30, 2009 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  16. David Newport, OR

    we the people do not need the Republican ideas. We want something more. If they do not want to work toward reasonable solutions, we will do it without them. It really is that simple.

    August 30, 2009 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  17. Carrie

    LOL!! that's what the republicans do best blast-

    Pave way for something? I think not-

    August 30, 2009 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  18. gtekam

    Ben ladin in a hole can buy shares of any insurance company on wallstreet. So they can control your health by sending their representatives on the board of directors either as a broker or anyone they chose to buy the shares in their names.

    Yet the right is saying that they don't want the government to make choices for them. Does that mean that they prefer the ben ladens of the world to control their healthcare as they do all the time?

    The health insurance company tells you already where you can receive healthcare or if you can receive it at all. They pick and chose who they insure. and they reject, increase premium.
    if you fail to pay premium and some times even when you do, it is not always clear or sure you would receive service.

    Competition is good for us.

    August 30, 2009 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  19. Beverly in NC

    Of course every single Republican is going to try to kill healthcare.

    1.More than 90 Republicans in the Congress have received more than $1M each from the insurance industry to tell lies and spread fake fear about healthcare reform. The insurance companies are trying to protect their monopoly and the Republicans are only glad to take their money to help them.

    2.Healthcare reform will be one of the most historic legislative victories for the American people since Social Security and Medicare. Republicans will do anything not to let President Obama get credit for finally fixing our healthcare system. They care nothing about the American people. They care about themselves and their rich, white, corporate friends. Failure is their singular focus regardless of the consequences to the People who elected them.

    We will get healthcare reform passed and the Party of NO will sink further into their world of hate, lies, and bitterness. How sad when they could be part of something so important to the lives and welfare of the American people. Republicans have lost their way and their humanity and values. Their hatred has destroyed them from the inside out.

    Reform should be passed immediately and called the "Ted Kennedy Healthcare Act of 2009". A human and moral law that will help so many and give control of our healthcare back to us and away from the greed-based insurance companies.

    August 30, 2009 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  20. Jose Rodriguez

    Sen. Enzi is showing, yet again, that he is merely an obstructionist. His comments signal that the GOP is not interested in reform, only delay for the perpetuation of the status quo and for political gain. Let the Dems go it alone and gain all the credit.

    August 30, 2009 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  21. terry teaters

    If the bill passes it will almost certainly have to be revised sometime after the next decade because by then everyone will realize how watered down, compromised, and ill conceived it was to begin with. By then the mess will be even worse than it is now.

    If the bill does not pass I suspect the country will merely continue its slide toward the status of a failing republic which will by then be competing with other third world entities for the title of worst performer in health care, and I won't even mention education. However, never doubt that we will have a strong and growing military.

    What must ultimately be realized, by even the most idealistic fairy tale thinkers, is that what we have been doing up until now is simply not working. Because of that change is inevitable, and there is a distinct possibility that it might not be for the better.

    August 30, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  22. nea

    So what are the Democrats suppose to do Senator: Enzi wait on you and your other Republicans colleuges? Not! We already waited 8 yrs too long, Now that the Democrats wants to do it its We want to reform health care and as far as deficit neutral isnt that what President Obama said he wanted? When this President was campaigning he said what he wanted to do for americans and Universal health care was one of them and i for 1 knew it would cost money. And even republicans knew this but now he want to keep his promise in doing so he keep getting push backs.So if you and your colleuges really want to Reform healthcare you would offer more support instead of fear mongering.OH! i forgot the Republicans want the President to fail.

    August 30, 2009 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  23. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    This is a life or death moment for the total control the insurance companies have over the health care dollars of Americans under 65. It seems only the Republicans understand how damaging it would be to the insurance companies' profits if the rest of the population had the choice of a Medicare-like program. Every citizen who has a Democratic congressman or senator needs to immediately write to them, making it clear that the threat posed to the insurance companies' monopoly on health care is the most important issue facing our country today. Because it's not really about your health care, it's about corporate profits. And corporate profits are the real "health" in health care.

    August 30, 2009 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  24. Mike Ross

    What are Mr Enzi's previous statements on Medicare? The Republican party has been trying to gut and kill medicare for 40 years. It is disingenuous of them to about face now for purely political reasons. The media needs to expose hypocrisy in both parties.

    August 30, 2009 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  25. sick of GOP lies and fear mongering

    Whine, whine, whine. I think that is all I have heard from the GOP. The health insurance lobbyist have the GOP in their back pocket and they have convinced the American people that health care reform is "socialist".

    But what is Enzi or any other GOP member doing to "decrease costs and be deficit-neutral". The current system is far from doing this yet they seem to want the status quo.

    Keep in mind the ONLY reason we are even discussing health care is because I Democrat is in the White House. The Dem's are on the right track but need to fight back. GOP negative attacks and insurance lobbyist money are going to ruin us. They don't want solutions. They just want power and money.

    Well sorry folks. I want health insurance. I don't want to go in to debt for 20 year to have a life saving surgery. I don't want to have to avoid calling an ambulance because I can't afford (many people do). And I don't want the GOP to use fear tactics to prevent and misleading information to stop health care.

    But I guess it's too late. The self-interested lobbyist have their teeth sunk so deep in the GOP, that is will be status quo/business as usual. Which means average Joe's/Jane's get screwed.

    August 30, 2009 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
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