Critical Condition

Senator Enzi on the Republican ‘Ideas’ Already in the Bill

Senator Enzi (R., Wy.), one of the more likable figures in the Senate GOP caucus, has plenty of substance behind the good nature.

As a participant in the early mark-up of the Senate bill, Enzi genially debunked some of the Democrats’ talking points about that process. Most interestingly, he pointed out that many of the 150 Republican amendments incorporated into the bill — used by Democrats as evidence of attempts at bipartisanship — many were purely technical and not substantive.

Then, after saying he supported the exchanges in the Senate bill, Enzi offered a way to make them better, more competitive, and more transparent: include all policies in the exchanges, not just ones that meet minimum federal standards, and merely mark the federally approved plans to inform consumers of the difference.

After spending all morning criticizing Republicans for pointing out flaws in the Democratic plan without offering constructive fixes, the president’s response to Enzi?

“Thanks for keeping it succinct . . . you raised some important ideas there.”

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