Obamacare should be permanently delayed for everybody, not just for businesses, because it is "so massive, burdensome, bureaucratic and confusing that it’s collapsing under its own weight," Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi said in Saturday's GOP weekly address.
Enzi pointed out that in 2009, he warned that President Barack Obama and Democrats were moving ahead with a healthcare reform plan that would cost all Americans for generations to come, and said his predictions are now coming true.
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“All across the country health insurance rates are skyrocketing," the Wyoming Republican said. "Employees are losing coverage through their employers. Families are struggling to cope with higher costs and less choice. Businesses aren’t hiring full-time employees."
He said nobody likes to be right when their predictions come true in ways that are harmful, but "it's time to admit that this partisan experiment in government-run health care is failing."
When the Obama administration pulled back on the employer mandate
, delaying it by an extra year, it had to admit that one of the key pieces of the law isn't working.
"President Obama decided he had the authority to waive the employer mandate because he knows that it’s a political liability," said Enzi. "The delay will likely force even more people to either enroll on the exchanges, or be taxed if they don’t. This will likely increase the overall cost of this bill to the taxpayer, making it even more unaffordable."
Republicans and Democrats alike want to know how Obama found the authority to "pick and choose what parts of the law he'll put in place and when," the senator said.
The answer is, he continued, that after "20,000 pages and still adding new regulations, and over 150 new bureaucratic agencies, boards, and programs, they still haven’t figured out what is in the law, or how to make the law work, which is why we need to permanently delay implementation of the law."
Enzi also accused some Democrats of wanting the "health care train to wreck so we would be forced into universal, single-payer, government-run, one-size-fits-all healthcare."
Some of the law's major supporter sand authors admit the law is a mess and will just get worse, Enzi said, but still, many of the law’s authors, whether because of pride, politics or a genuine belief that the government knows best, stubbornly cling to this law that is so massive, burdensome, bureaucratic and confusing that it’s collapsing under its own weight."
Enzi said there is still time to search for positive changes, by dismantling the worst parts of the law and replacing them with workable reforms.
“There are clear differences between what Republicans and Democrats see as a financially viable health care system that lowers costs, expands choice, and doesn’t bankrupt each of us or our country," Enzi said. "But fixing our health care system doesn’t have to be the divisive and partisan – the partisan issue it became in 2010 when half of America was ignored."
Meanwhile, the government needs to "stop deal making and start legislating," Enzi said.
"Too often, the solutions offered to fix our nation’s problems are developed behind closed doors by a few people and presented as the only option. There was a better way forward on healthcare than a bill written and passed without a single Republican vote."
Enzi said the government needs to also stop trying to make comprehensive changes, which creates bills that are too large for people to understand and agree to.
“When you pass a partisan bill, you get a partisan result," said Enzi. "No party has all the good ideas. By working together, we can make sure the result is something that not only works, but moves the country forward in a responsible way."
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Enzi believes the nation still needs health care reform, but it needs to be done the right way, with a federal government that is willing to support viable reforms while refraining from "handcuffing innovative, private sector designs with excessive regulations or narrow political interests."
Instead, he said, lawmakers need to focus on common sense reforms that "protect Americans’ access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost," and doing so is something both parties should be able to agree on.
“The challenges we face as a country aren’t going to be easy to address and certainty aren’t going away, but if we approach them in a more practical, rather than a political way, we should be able to make things better," Enzi concluded.
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