U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) voted against passage of a trillion-dollar health care bill that fails to lower the cost of health care, and will raise taxes on American job creators and working families, cut Medicare, impede medical innovation, and imperil jobs in Pennsylvania.

Congressman Dent said: “The consequences of health-care reform are profound for families, our economy and the future of our country. Done right, we will lift burdens that are holding employers back from growing and revitalizing our economy. Done wrong, jobs will be lost and 10 percent unemployment will become the norm rather than the exception.

“I oppose the bill before us today because it will increase health care costs for Americans and bend the curve of health care spending in the wrong direction; it will create a new trillion dollar entitlement program that the bill does not realistically address how we will afford it; and it will impede economic growth, particularly in the Fifteenth Congressional district.”

In addition to new taxes and other costs to employers and families, the bill cuts a half-trillion dollars out of Medicare to pay for the new entitlement. The bill also will increase premiums for many American families who purchase their own health insurance.

On Saturday, Congressman Dent had offered two amendments to scale back harmful provisions and improve the bill. His first amendment would have enacted nationwide reforms aimed at ending the costly practice of defensive medicine and encouraging states to adopt effective alternative medical liability laws to reduce the number of health care lawsuits that are litigated, the amount of time taken to resolve lawsuits, and the cost of malpractice insurance. Congressman Dent previously introduced this as standalone legislation.

The second amendment would have struck the ill-advised 2.3 percent medical device tax that will mean less investment in research and development — and will actually increase health care costs and threaten jobs in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately the leadership of the House would not allow these important amendments to be debated on the House floor today.

Congressman Dent also disagrees with bill proponents who claim the bill will cut the deficit.

“The bill uses ten years of taxes and Medicare cuts in order to pay for six years of programs,” Congressman Dent noted.

Congressman Dent said he will continue to support efforts to provide true health care reform that will lower costs for all Americans.

“I support reform,” Congressman Dent said. “I have advocated for deliberate policies that will reduce the cost and increase the quality of health care, provide all Americans with the opportunity to obtain affordable health insurance, give patients more control over their health care decisions, and promote innovations and wellness initiatives that lead to cures.

“This bill does not accomplish those critical objectives.”