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Enzi’s criticism weakens health care deal chances

Enzi (The Spokesman-Review)
Enzi (The Spokesman-Review)

WASHINGTON – A Republican member of the Senate’s “Gang of Six” health-care negotiators sharply criticized Democrats’ reform plans Saturday, making the climb to a bipartisan deal when Congress reconvenes appear even steeper.

In the GOP’s weekly radio and Internet address, Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming said the Democrats’ health care proposals “will actually make our nation’s finances sicker without saving you money” and would also “raid Medicare” and intrude “in the relationship between a doctor and a patient.”

His remarks are the latest volley in a partisan debate that has grown increasingly heated during the August recess, as some lawmakers have reported hearing fervent opposition to President Barack Obama’s reform plans in their states and districts.

Instead of what Democrats suggest, Enzi said Saturday that the Senate should “enact common-sense reform that will actually cut costs,” including provisions to help small businesses insure their workers while reforming the tax code and medical malpractice system.

Enzi is one of six members of the Senate Finance Committee who have been deeply involved in talks over health care reform.

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