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Shuster: Obama reneging on health care promises

March 08, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Claiming the Obama Administration has not kept its promises on health care reform, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster said Tuesday that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives will "chip away" at the money needed to keep the program viable.

Shuster, who represents Pennsylvania's 9th District, was speaking to a friendly audience at a breakfast attended by 150 members representing all five Franklin County Chamber of Commerce chapters.

The breakfast was held at Green Grove Gardens off Pa. 16.

Shuster, a popular Pennsylvania politician who was re-elected to a sixth term in November, said his GOP House colleagues are sticking to their "Pledge to America" to make drastic cuts in federal spending.

A prime target is the health care program put into effect in 2009 by majority House and Senate Democrats. "It's not living up to any of its promises to cut health care costs. We're seeing double digit increases in premiums."

Instead of cutting costs, "it's doing just the opposite. It's a policy that won't succeed and will cost us more money," he said.

Shuster said he realized that Republican House efforts to cut costs significantly would probably be defeated in the Democratically controlled Senate.

He insisted that the only way Congress can significantly cut into the deficit is to go after such favored entitlement programs as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Otherwise, he said, "We'll be heading down a road we can't sustain.

"The country is not taxed too much, it spends too much. We need to cut taxes. Every time we cut taxes revenue goes up," he said.

The 2012 presidential election "is going to be the most important in our lifetime." he said. If Obama wins a second term America would become a socialized democracy like Europe. "It's in a financial crisis. Europe doesn't drive the world," he said.

The country has to be turned back around so entrepreneurs can survive, so people like Bill Gates can start up small companies that can grow.

Answering a question from a member of the audience on the nation's energy policies, Shuster said that while alternative energy sources like wind and solar "are nice, they won't cut it."

The future of energy independence for America lies with nuclear power, natural gas and oil and coal.

He said America is like Saudi Arabia when it comes to gas deposits. "We have all the natural gas and oil we need, offshore and on federal lands. All we have to do is drill it."

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