July 17, 2013 Senator Mike Enzi - July Newsletter

Senator Mike Enzi
2013-07-17 19:45:10
Mike Enzi United States Senator for Wyoming e-Newsletter
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July 17, 2013

Senator Mike Enzi - July Newsletter

Enzi discusses health care law in weekly GOP address

In the Weekly Republican Address Senator Enzi called for a permanent delay of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for everyone, not just businesses. According to Senator Enzi, the law is so “massive, burdensome, bureaucratic and confusing” that it’s collapsing under its own weight.

“All across the country health insurance rates are skyrocketing. 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,” said Enzi. “It’s time to admit that this partisan experiment in government-run health care is failing.”

Enzi believes a solution can be found by giving the failed law’s proponents a way out by searching for positive changes. This could start by dismantling the worst parts of the law first and replacing them with reforms that actually work. This includes focusing on common sense, step-by-step reforms, that protect Americans’ access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost.

The Obama administration has already decided to delay the implementation until 2015 of the health care law’s employer mandate, the requirement that all firms with 50 or more employees offer health coverage, or pay steep fines. The mandate was supposed to go into effect on January 1, 2014.

“The challenges we face as a country aren’t going to be easy to address and certainly 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,” said Enzi. “Good policy is good politics.”

Enzi: Under nuclear option minority would be crushed

As the Senate narrowly avoided an unprecedented vote to strip the right of senators to filibuster nominees, Senator Enzi stressed that the majority’s dangerous decision would have forever changed how the Senate operates, for the worse.

“In the Senate majority’s attempt to weaken the filibuster, they have threatened to weaken the Senate itself. A weak Senate is more susceptible to the demands of a smaller majority and the president,” said Enzi. “The majority leader’s threat to force his will upon the Senate was short-sighted and dangerous.”

According to Enzi, the Senate was designed by the founding fathers as the deliberative body where legislation was intended to be debated fully, and every Senator has the chance to speak. The filibuster in turn helps protect the rights of the minority from the majority, a right inherent in the creation of our Constitution.

Enzi believes any change to the filibuster would be a major blow against the people of Wyoming and all those who may have different ideas than any given majority of Americans at any given time. There would be less filibustering if we stopped deal making and started legislating.

According to Enzi, by insisting that the Senate can alter the rules with a simple majority vote, ignoring the existing rules that require a supermajority, Senator Reid could have put the Senate on a path that would lead to total control of this body by the majority, no matter the party. “The change itself would be less important than the manner in which it would be imposed,” said Enzi.

News Nuggets

Financial bureau collecting personal data

Americans cannot tell the government they don’t want their personal financial information collected or stored. That was the message Senator Enzi shared when he spoke against the nomination of Richard Cordray to be the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) during a speech on the Senate floor earlier this week.

“If you are worried about the NSA, investigating your phone number you should be more worried about the bureau investigating your finances,” said Enzi.

Click here to watch a clip from his speech.

Wyoming AG approved for federal court

Senator Enzi was pleased to see Wyoming Attorney General Greg Phillips unanimously confirmed to the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals by the Senate after a vote of 88-0.

 “I can personally attest to Mr. Phillips’ qualifications to serve as a federal judge,” said Enzi. “Greg was on the Senate Judiciary Committee when we served together in the Wyoming Legislature. Greg and his family are highly respected in their community and Wyoming is proud to call Greg one of our own.”

Enzi sets the record straight on student loans

Student loan interest rates have been a hot topic recently as the interest rates on new loans doubled July 1. Senator Enzi gave a speech on the Senate floor calling for a bipartisan and permanent solution to the problem and not a short-term fix.

Enzi noted that the recent higher interest rate of 6.88% only applies to new loans and goes in part to pay for health care because of a provision the majority wrote in the new health care law. If an individual currently has a student loan, the terms were set when he or she first got their loan and those do not change.

Instead of only saving 40% of the interest on new student loans, there is a bipartisan approach Enzi is for, that both reduces the rate for every new loan and saves the tax payers billions of dollars.

Click here to watch his speech.

Medicare flexibility needed for outpatient therapy services

Senator Enzi cosponsored a bipartisan bill to allow greater flexibility in Medicare rules governing who can supervise the administration of outpatient therapy services.

Small and rural hospitals, such as those in Wyoming, where the lack of physicians to oversee services is most severe, need reasonable flexibility under these regulations to appropriately staff their facilities so they can continue to provide a full range of services to their communities.

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