"As your families and loved ones gather to celebrate this joyous Holiday season, the U.S. Senate is plowing ahead toward a critical Christmas Eve vote to radically change our country's health care system. The vote will occur thanks in large part to what should be known as the Harry Reid Blizzard of 2009. While Mother Nature was blasting much of Pennsylvania with a record-setting amount of snow this weekend, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his colleagues in Democrat leadership unleashed a blizzard of taxpayer dollars in a frantic attempt to pass a health care bill that has more to do with scoring political points than making insurance affordable and improving the quality of health care. Believe me, taxpayers will still be trying to dig out from this spending squall long after the snow melts.
"Pennsylvania was directly in the path of the Harry Reid Blizzard. The backroom deals Reid struck with his Democratic bretheren will force Pennsylvania taxpayers to help finance a $1.1 billion Medicaid bailout during the next 10 years for Nebraska, Massachusetts and Vermont. That hefty amount is in addition to an estimated $2.2 billion increase in Medicaid spending that Pennsylvania taxpayers will have to cover during the next decade if the Democrats' health care proposal becomes law.
"This avalanche of spending would be a heavy enough burden for Pennsylvania taxpayers. But the Senate bill also retains the same job-crushing taxes and big government bureaucracy contained in the House health care bill, which I voted against on November 7th. Taxes would climb by about $400 billion per year. That includes a $2 billion per year tax on medical testing products that help detect ovarian, breast and pancreatic cancer; products used in hip-replacement surgery and to help patients heal broken limbs; heart stents used in life-saving operations; and other medical devices.
"This tax would hit Pennsylvania particularly hard because of the approximately 600 medical device manufactures in the Commonwealth that employ roughly 20,000 people in jobs that often pay more than $50,000 per year.
"All of this taxing and spending will result in a bill that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office confirmed would raise health insurance premiums by $300 per year for individuals and $2,100 per year for middle-class families. That's why I will not support the Senate bill if it comes to the House floor for a vote."