Thursday, July 30, 2009

No progress of any kind on Senate health care reform legislation

Whoa, horse, whoa!

When newspaper reports circulated yesterday about a possible breakthrough on health care reform in the U.S. Senate, Wyoming's Mike Enzi issued this press release:

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) today said no bipartisan deal on health care reform is imminent and that members of the Finance Committee still have a number of remaining issues to resolve before they will be able to reach a bipartisan agreement.

Reports in this morning’s newspapers are off the mark, and are not helpful to the process, Enzi added. “Bad information damages the work we are doing to improve our health care system.”

“We still have several areas where we haven’t been able to come to a consensus. No deal is at hand and substantive issues, big and small, remain under discussion and need to be resolved. We need to keep working together.

“I will need to see complete language and a final estimate from the Congressional Budget Office before I can agree to any health care reform bill,” said Enzi, who has been deeply involved in bipartisan Finance Committee negotiations.

“I also need commitments from Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi, as well as the Administration, that the bipartisan agreements reached in the Finance Committee will survive in a final bill that goes to the President.”

Well that's a relief. For a brief moment on Wednesday, I thought that the bipartisan group of Senate Finance Committee members had actually agreed on their half-baked plan to not reform health care. Glad to see that's not true. They just need more time to finalize their non-plan. This delays the entire process which is what Sen. Baucus and Sen. Enzi had in mind all along.

Enzi wants to look at the numbers. He also wants commitments from Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi and Pres. Obama and the White House dog that the plan will go forward just as God and the health insurance companies intended.

Yesterday on Progressive Radio out of Boulder, David Sirota raised a good question: How is it possible that six senators from rural low-population states can hold up (and possibly sabotage) health care reform for the vast majority of Americans? I live in one of those states, the least-populated of them all. Montana is also huge in territory but low in people. You have Grassley from Iowa and Snowe from Maine and Conrad from North Dakota and Bingaman from New Mexico. Iowa's the big kahuna of the bunch, with a population of 3 million.

Where are the other members of this committee? It has 23 on the list, including heavy hitters such as John Kerry and Orrin Hatch. Why aren't they involved in this process? Maybe Baucus forgets to send out e-mail reminders.

Viewing this from the heart of Flyover Country, it looks very suspicious.

And I'll say that to Sen. Enzi during his August recess, if I can find out where he'll be appearing in August. I know he will be at the state fair on one day. But his web site has no schedule posted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nader is ripping the health care plan too.