Enzi trashes health care reform

ENZI TRASHES HEALTH CARE REFORM…. Sen. Mike Enzi (R) of Wyoming delivered the Republican address this morning, and not surprisingly, talked about health care reform. The message was unequivocal.

Democratic healthcare reform will drive up the deficit, discriminate against the elderly and do little to control costs, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) alleged in the weekly Republican radio address.

Enzi, ranking member of the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee and a member of the so-called “group of six” senators working for a bipartisan compromise, also accused Democrats of hurrying the legislative process.

“The Democrats are trying to rush a bill through the process that will actually make our nation’s finances sicker without saving you money,” Enzi said in the weekly GOP address. “The American people are growing increasingly concerned about out of control spending in Washington that’s leaving us with trillions of dollars of debt.”

Adopting one of the GOP’s favored lines of attack, Enzi said the plan would particularly hurt the elderly.

“”These bills also raid Medicare,” Enzi said. “This will result in cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from the elderly to create new government programs.”

These are garbage arguments, and Enzi knows it. No serious person should take them seriously. That Enzi made them the official party message of the week says a great deal about the ridiculous way in which the Republican Party is treating the debate. (Seriously, Dems are “rushing”? How much slower can this process go?)

But let’s also note the larger context: Mike Enzi is one of just three Senate Republicans negotiating towards a “bipartisan compromise” on reform. This morning he sounded like a right-wing, talk-radio loudmouth, but he’s nevertheless one of the key lawmakers Democrats expect to work with in good faith.

On Monday, Enzi told constituents he has no intention of compromising with Democrats, and is only engaged in negotiations with Democrats so he can force concessions on a deal he’s likely to oppose anyway. And on Saturday, he’s trashing the underlying basics of the reform package.

The majority is trying to find common ground on health care reform with someone who opposes health care reform. With each passing day, this gets slightly more insane.

As Krugman recently explained: “The central fact of the health care debate is that there is essentially no agreement on anything — values, philosophy, vision of how the world works — between the two sides. Progressives want universal coverage, and see an expanded government role as essential to getting there. Conservatives believe, in the face of all evidence, that free markets are the answer. And Enzi is very conservative. According to Vote View, my site for left-right rankings, Enzi was the 8th most conservative Senator in the last Congress — almost in the same league as Inhofe or DeMint. This is the quest for bipartisanship gone stark raving mad.”