Sen. Mike Enzi on Wednesday said that Republicans aren’t going to listen to Democrats in their attempt to alter the new Health care bill due to the fact that Democrats didn’t listen to Republicans on Obamacare.
“We’re not trying to give the impression that we’re going to listen to them. They never listened to us,” he told the Washington Examiner.
The Wyoming Budget Committee chairman has been among the few senators working with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the health care overhaul that was passed by Republicans in the House last month.
Enzi was involved in the negotiations on the Obamacare proposal, and President Obama’s Affordable Care Act passed without any Republican votes.
Unlike the GOP health care bill, however, Obamacare went through multiple committee hearings in the House and Senate, though Republicans still complained that the bill was a “jammed-through, backroom deal.”
Enzi recounted that those hearings and meetings yielded no compromise to Republican ideas. “I kept a list of the things that he promised,” he said. “The next day I brought those up and said: ‘We don’t have this in there, and this in there and this in there.’ I brought up six different things and they said, ‘we’re not going to talk about those,’ and that ended the gang of six — and they didn’t wind up in the bill.”
Enzi said that he’s been working with the Senate GOP proposal throughout the whole process. He believes that it will be well-received despite concerns from Republicans that it would leave too much of Obamacare in place, and concerns from centrist Republicans that it would repeal too much of current law.
“We have to make sure that it’s in budget language in order to meet reconciliation [rules],” he said. “I think there will be a lot of agreement on it, there will be some questions because it is a very difficult thing with a lot of moving pieces. But I also think you’re going to see a lot of outside groups that are going to say, yes, they got it. With something this big you are never done with it.”
Enzi defends it by calling it “comprehensive.” He says that there is never going to be a bill that has it all and makes everyone happy. But he hopes that Democrats will join the Republicans on revising certain aspects that they might see fit until they finally get it right.