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Casey, Toomey split on health care repeal vote

Sens. Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) took opposing stances Wednesday on the issue of health care repeal.

Forty-six GOP senators voted unsuccessfully for repeal. however, the vote fulfilled a major campaign promise of many 2010 Republicans victors, including Toomey.

Casey said many Pennsylvanians already benefit from the law, and repealing it would have a detrimental affect on those individuals.

“Since Washington Republicans began talking about repealing the new health care law, my office has been inundated with stories from Pennsylvanians who have benefited from the new protections in the law,” Casey said. “Repeal would mean that insurance companies would again be able to deny care because of pre-existing conditions or cap coverage.”

However, Toomey called the law “overreaching,” saying  the new taxes and regulatory system  is too burdensome for private sector growth. He added that individuals should be able to purchase insurance in other states, ultimately increasing competition among companies.

““I have spoken with many Pennsylvanians who are concerned about the health care bill’s effect on jobs in our state,” Toomey said.  “The new taxes, fees and regulatory burdens are already hurting Pennsylvania jobs, and it is critical that we work to encourage job creation in the private sector, not undermine it.”

Casey’s full statement:

“Since Washington Republicans began talking about repealing the new health care law, my office has been inundated with stories from Pennsylvanians who have benefited from the new protections in the law.  Repeal would mean that insurance companies would again be able to deny care because of pre-existing conditions or cap coverage.

“Repeal would make prescription drugs more expensive for older Pennsylvanians, take away new consumer protections to guard against insurance company abuses, raise taxes on the 178,000 Pennsylvania small businesses eligible for new tax credits and increase the debt by more than a trillion dollars.  Additionally, measures in the new law to combat fraud in the health care system have already recovered $4 billion.

“Changes can certainly be made to improve the new law.  For example, I voted again today to eliminate burdensome paper requirements on small businesses.  Taking away protections and new life-saving benefits for children and families, especially as we are recovery from the recession, does not make sense.”

Toomey’s full statement:

“I voted to repeal this overreaching government-run health care bill because the American people deserve reforms that will actually lower the cost of health care, protect jobs, help ensure access to quality health care and protect the doctor-patient relationship,” Sen. Toomey said. “I have spoken with many Pennsylvanians who are concerned about the health care bill’s effect on jobs in our state. The new taxes, fees and regulatory burdens are already hurting Pennsylvania jobs, and it is critical that we work to encourage job creation in the private sector, not undermine it.

“I am disappointed this amendment was not adopted, but I’m pleased my 46 Senate colleagues stood up to in an effort to protect American jobs today.”

Sen. Toomey has put forth many ideas that would help alleviate the cost of health care and give individuals greater access to health insurance without imposing new burdens on Pennsylvania jobs. These include allowing individuals who buy their own health insurance to enjoy the same tax benefits enjoyed by employees receiving insurance through their employers; increasing competition by allowing individuals to buy health insurance across stateliness; passing reasonable tort reform; and allowing small businesses and organizations to band together and form associations that can purchase health insurance on behalf of their members.

February 2nd, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Senate | No Comments