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Letter to the Editor

November 07, 2009

Here are four reasons why Pelosi's health care plan is wrong for America



To the editor:

After weeks of closed-door meetings, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled her newest health care reform bill. The Pelosi plan clocks in at more than 1,900 pages, which is 648 pages longer than Hillary-care, and it costs $1.055 trillion, or about $2 million per word.

The sheer size and scope of the Pelosi plan is so enormous that I could write an op-ed every day for a month pointing out what is bad in the bill. There is not time for this, so I want to highlight what I see as the four most egregious parts of Pelosi's health care reform plan and what we can do about it.

1. Taxes: The Pelosi plan would impose $730 billion in new taxes on businesses that can't afford to pay for their employee's health coverage. According to President Obama's own economic adviser, Christina Romer, these new taxes would put 5.5 million workers at serious risk of losing their jobs. Close to 32,500 small businesses in Pennsylvania would be at risk from this new health care surcharge.

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2. Deficit spending: The Pelosi plan contains $1.055 trillion in new federal spending over the next 10 years. All of this spending will be used to take health care decisions out of the doctor's office and centralize them in Washington, D.C., requiring the creation of more than 100 new federal panels, commissions and unelected civil servants who will be charged with making decisions on your care.

3. Senior coverage: Earlier this year, President Obama pledged that "the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform." Today, he and Nancy Pelosi are proposing $170 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage. These cuts would force close to 38,000 enrollees in the 9th District out of Medicare Advantage and into regular Medicare.

4. Personal freedom: The Pelosi plan will bring the nationalization of one-sixth of our economy and the elimination of choice for a majority of Americans to extend coverage to a few.

Republicans have an alternative focused on simple principles that will lower the cost of quality health care for all Americans. Our plan would let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines and pool together and buy health insurance at lower prices. We would give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs. Finally, our plan would end excessive and unnecessary tests doctors perform that contribute to higher health care costs to protect against junk lawsuits.

Real health care reform should foster a system where competition and patient choice drive quality care and success. I believe we can accomplish this and fix what is broken in our health care system without forcing another trillion-dollar government takeover on taxpayers.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster
R-Pennsylvania

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