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Under Cover of Wages, Congress Eyes Gutting State Health Care Proections
Matt Singer on July 28, 2006 - 9:18am
Back in May, we highlighted U.S. Senator Enzi's atrocious measure to gut state health insurance regulations. Enzi's bill was a conservative bill that claimed to cut health insurance costs, but the way they did it was by making health insurance essentially worthless. Employers would be able to adopt policies that exclude absolutely necessary services: alcohol and drug abuse treatment, ambulance service, mental health, contraceptives, and cancer screening. Having health insurance that does not cover health problems is like having a house except for the walls and the roof. What's more, the measure would legalize price discrimination based on age, which led the Congressional Budget Office to conclude that the impact of Enzi's bill would be to have the cost of health insurance actually rise for one in four businesses. Didn't that bill die and isn't this all irrelevant now? Yes, except that Congressional conservatives are plotting to insert Enzi's bill as an amendment on a minimum wage increase so as to put progressives in a tough position: vote for better health care and lower wages or higher wages and worse health care? Once again, conservatives are playing politics with two of the most fundamental issues American families face: their paychecks and their health care. They ought to be ashamed. Instead, their angling all the way through election season.