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Rick Berg, Published April 15 2010

Health care reform legislation is wrong prescription for US

In the weeks since Congress passed its controversial health care legislation, we have been exposed to a campaign to sell the bill to the voters of North Dakota. These tributes have been filled with praise for one aspect or another, but what has been missing from the discussion is the cost.

The bill requires more than $500 billion in new taxes. How else will we pay to cover 30 million people, 159 new commissions and agencies and 100,000 new government employees?

It also cuts more than $500 billion in Medicare reimbursements for the elderly, using that money to pay for this new entitlement.

The bill requires states to expand Medicaid coverage. For some states, the cost of that requirement will be in the billions of dollars.

Businesses will be faced with billions in increased health care costs. Even small businesses will be stuck with increased health care costs, and that’s after taking into account the tax credits the bill promises.

Insurance premiums will go up due to new mandated coverage and taxes on medical insurance, equipment and drugs.

There is even a cost to our liberty. The bill makes it a crime not to carry health care insurance. The government will hire 16,000 new IRS agents to make sure we pay our health insurance premiums.

But, the biggest cost of this government intrusion into health care is the negative impact it will have on our ability to compete globally and create good jobs.

Clearly, the health care bill passed last month by the Congress is the wrong prescription for our nation, but it’s not too late.

With a new Congress, we can implement common sense solutions that truly lower costs and make health care more accessible. But our first step must be to put America back to work. A robust economy is the key to fixing health care without massive deficits or tax increases.

Rep. Berg, R-Fargo, is candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.