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Reid Health Bill Represents Everything That's Wrong With Washington

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Location: Washington, DC

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, today blasted the introduction of the Reid's Manager Amendment to the $2.5 trillion healthcare bill now before the Senate.

Hatch said Americans have already rejected the 2,074-page monstrosity of a bill that is misnamed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590). The 338-page Reid amendment added to the bill this morning only makes it worse, the senator added.

"After weeks of back-room dealing and clandestine negotiations behind closed doors of the Capitol, the Reid amendment is a classic grab bag of special deals to buy votes at the expense of American taxpayers," Hatch continued.

For instance, Hatch noted, the manager's amendment provides full federal funding for the expansion for Nebraska's Medicaid program, a special treatment that no other state is offered in this bill, even though the states collectively face $200 billion in deficits. The bill also continues to slam Americans with more than $518 billion in new taxes.

"At a time when our nation faces a double-digit unemployment rate, the Reid bill increases payroll taxes by $86.8 billion along with doubling the tax penalty on Americans who fail to purchase Washington coverage - something I strongly believe to be unconstitutional," Hatch said.

Hatch also led the effort in the Senate with Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska to ensure the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment which has been law since 1976 and prohibits taxpayer dollars financing elective abortions. The Nelson-Hatch Amendment was almost identical to the Stupak language, which was included in the House-passed bill and supported by 64 Democrat House members.

"This so-called compromise language on abortions is significantly weaker than the Nelson-Hatch Amendment, and for the first time in over 30 years, federal dollars will pay for abortions, something that is unacceptable to me and 61 percent of my fellow Americans," said Hatch.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Right to Life Committee and Family Research Council have also expressed their serious concerns with the abortion language included in the Reid package.

"I had a sincere hope in my heart that at least one Democrat would stand up for the American people and reject this unconstitutional Washington take-over of our health care system," Hatch said. "Just one Democrat who would put the interest of our nation and our future above their parochial and political interests on this critical issue. I am deeply disappointed.

"The historic blizzard in Washington today is a perfect symbol of anger and frustration brewing in the hearts of the American people against this morally bankrupt and fiscally reprehensible bill," Hatch continued. "I urge the majority once again to listen to the voices of the American people. My colleagues and I are united with the American people in our fight against this $2.5 trillion tax-and-spend bill. We will stay here as long as it takes, day after day and hour after hour, to fight this bill."


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