Monday, December 21, 2009

Specter's Disgraceful Performance

Over the next four days, Arlen Specter will vote for a mammoth health care bill, totaling 2,733 pages and nearly $1 trillion, providing the Reid/Pelosi Congress with the crucial 60th vote needed to pass the bill. Over the next four days, we will inspect the worst elements of this monstrosity, starting with the bill’s huge tax increases.
According to the Congressional Budget Office’s report released on Saturday, the Reid health care monstrosity will raise taxes by $518.5 billion and violates President Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on the middle-class.
The $518 billion in new taxes include:
  • A $149 billion tax increase on private health insurance plans that will affect many middle-class people in high cost areas.
  • $43 billion in new taxes and fines on individuals and businesses as part of the bill’s new health insurance mandate.
  • More than $100 billion in new taxes and fees on firms in the health sector, including a tax on manufacturers and importers of medical devises. According to the CBO, these taxes and fees “would be largely passed through to consumers in the form of higher premiums for private coverage.”
  • $87 billion in new Medicare payroll taxes.
But President Obama was not the only one to break his pledge when Reid’s health care monstrosity was voted on in the wee hours of the morning today. Senator Arlen Specter had signed a Taxpayer Protection Pledge against raising taxes. Last night, he broke that pledge. (RC #385, 12/21/09)
Senator Specter was given the opportunity to vote separately against the huge tax increases in this bill, but preferred to be a rubber stamp for Harry Reid’s extreme agenda. Specter voted against an amendment to strip the bill of tax increases on people earning less than $250,000 a year. Even though five Democrats supported the amendment, Specter voted “NO.” (RC #376, 12/15/09)
“Over the past nine months, Senator Specter has gone from being opposed to a public option to being a rubber stamp for Harry Reid’s extreme liberal agenda,” Toomey Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik said. “It is shame to see Specter putting his political career ahead of the needs of Pennsylvania taxpayers. Unlike Specter, Pat Toomey supports commonsense health care reforms that will lower health care costs and introduce competition into the system. These include comprehensive tort reform, allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines, allowing the formation of health associations, and giving individually purchased health insurance the same tax benefits as employee provided health insurance.”
“Pat’s principled and thoughtful approach to health care reform is just one of the many reasons why Pennsylvanians are rallying to his side and rejecting Specter’s rampant political opportunism.”

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