Sen. Enzi Jumped The Gun

June 16, 2009 10:29 am ET — Melinda Warner

Sen. Mike Enzi released a statement on June 15, 2009 stating that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the Democrats' first draft of health care legislation would not provide coverage for as many Americans as first anticipated.  But he has jumped the gun because the bill isn't complete and therefore cannot be accurately scrutinized.

The CBO is perfectly clear on the status of the analysis:

"It is important to note, however, that those figures do not represent a formal or complete cost estimate for the draft legislation...Moreover, because expanded eligibility for the Medicaid program may be added at a later date, those figures are not likely to represent the impact that more comprehensive proposals...would have both on the federal budget and on the extent of insurance coverage."

The bill is not complete.  The language to construct a public option is missing.  The portion calling for an individual or employer mandate is still being formed.  The Finance Committee has yet to draft a plan for changing Medicaid. 

Essentially, Sen. Enzi (and certainly more will follow in the coming hours) is attempting to kill the legislation before it is fully developed.  Just as you couldn't accurately judge a bowl of soup without all the ingredients, you can't correctly analyze a bill if it isn't finished being written.

All this political posturing and manipulation of the situation is a waste of time.  Americans would be much better served if politicians like Sen. Enzi stopped needlessly criticizing incomplete proposals and started crafting solutions to our shared struggles.

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