It may seem futile for Republicans to contact either of our Democrat senators with respect to the Baucus Health Care Bill. However, two specific parts of this bill have a direct impact on Minnesota and both Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken have addressed these issues. A call, letter, or email to our Senators specifically referring to these issues could influence our Senators and perhaps stall the bill long enough for the American people to fully realize the dangers of this bill.
First Issue: Huge tax on Medical Device Companies. Minnesota medical device companies employ 20,000 people in 200 companies. The heavy tax levied on these companies will certainly cause job losses, stifle research, and slow medical innovation. Companies will necessarily pass on their costs to the consumer which will result in higher health care costs—thus violating one of President Obama’s claims (and those of both Klobuchar and Franken) that health care costs will go down. Our Senators recognize these dangers and have spoken publicly about them. Constant reminders of their expressed concern can certainly make them aware they are being monitored.
Second Issue: Unfunded mandate on Minnesota. The Baucus Bill includes $37 billion dollars in unfunded mandates on the states with respect to Medicaid. In his effort to keep the Health Care Bill from increasing the deficit, Senator Baucus included a provision to permanently expand Medicaid and disallow states from setting their own eligibility standards. The Congressional Budget Office supports the $37 billion dollar figure spread over 50 states and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (a left-wing organization) expects total state deficits to reach $180 billion by 2011.
Medicare is the second largest state expenditure all across the nation and Minnesota is no exception. Minnesota’s contribution to Medicaid coverage last year was $3 billion. Perhaps our Democrat Senators would entertain an exception in the Baucus Bill on the order of the one included at the behest of Senator Reid. The Federal Government will pick up the entire tab for Nevada—as it will for three other states. Our Senators are on record arguing that this provision is unfair. We demand to know what our Senators will do to include Minnesota in such favored protections before they agree to vote for this bill.
The Star Tribune has covered our Senators’ stance on the Baucus Bill. In addition to contacting the Senators surely our local paper will publish your letters, too.
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