Since the summer, Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.) has been a key member of health-care negotiations on the Senate Finance Committee. Today, the committee finally voted on the legislative package proposed by Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.). The Baucus plan passed by a vote of 14-9, with Senator Enzi voting against it. Only one Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, voted in support of the Baucus bill.
What does Senator Enzi make of it all? NRO asked him this afternoon.
NRO: After the vote on the Baucus bill, are you hopeful that the GOP can shape the upcoming debate in the Senate? What concerns do you have?
Senator Enzi: As the bill moves out of the Finance Committee and to the Senate floor for full debate, I will continue to work toward improving the Baucus bill by including medical-malpractice reform [and] healthy-behavior incentives and eliminating discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, while expanding choices for patients. It is my hope that the Democratic leadership will work with the both Democrats and Republicans as the health-care debate continues.
NRO: What was your take on Senator Snowe’s vote? Is it indicative of a larger trend in the GOP, or an anomaly?
Senator Enzi: Senator Snowe represents a state where health-care costs are extremely high. She’s dealing with some unique circumstances. She has to vote in a manner she thinks is best for her constituents, and so do I. Senator Snowe has been helpful throughout this process in suggesting improvements, and I am confident she’ll continue to push for increased transparency and work to correct many of the flaws in the chairman’s mark.