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Pennsylvania Republicans are failing us

Pennsylvania Republicans are failing us

Elections have consequences. With President Obama at the helm of the federal government through January of 2017, it is the states that represent the last line of defense against big-government policies like ObamaCare. However, in a handful of state capitols across the country, Republican legislators are backtracking on many of the conservative principles they once supported.

A prime example of this is in Pennsylvania where two Republican legislators, State Senator Randy Vulakovich and Representative Jim Christiana, are taking steps to undermine the free-market principles that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) believes in. In short, their legislation forces two independent and private entities that offer healthcare and health insurance into a contract. Highmark, one of the companies involved, is pushing for the contact. The other, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is not.

It is important to shed light on what is occurring in Pennsylvania, and elevate these developments to the national stage. Not only is it a waste of taxpayer resources for these legislators to be spending time on this, but it is surprising that they are moving forward with this legislation after witnessing the ramifications of ObamaCare – a story we have all become far too familiar with.

ObamaCare is not only costing taxpayers trillions of dollars, but it is also negatively impacting families. Many folks have lost coverage (even though the president said folks could keep their coverage if they liked it) and it has also led many to experience an increase in premiums and a lack of choice and quality of medical care. Even worse, President Obama is now using the law to pick and choose winners and losers by allowing some businesses and political allies off the hook. While the federal government has chosen to delay the employer mandate, it is taxpayers who are left out in the cold.

Sadly, the legislation being spearheaded in Harrisburg by State Senator Vulakovich and Representative Christiana goes down a similar “government knows best” path. Their legislation not only undermines free market principles, but it also kills market competition and limits affordable choices for consumers and many of the most vulnerable among us. Lastly, it meddles with Pennsylvanians’ healthcare options by choosing to empower regulators, not providers.

If these bills move forward in the state legislature it could have similar consequences as ObamaCare and could establish a devastating precedent for the rest of the country. Competition is not only beneficial to the private sector; it’s essential for state and national economies. To put it in terms every Pennsylvanian can understand; imagine the outrage that would exist if the federal government forced Hershey and Mars into a contract.

Due to the support of conservative voters, Pennsylvanians elected a Republican Governor and a majority in both the House and Senate in 2010. Republicans, and all state legislators, need their focus to be on fighting big-government policies, not enabling them.

TPA’s goal is to inform Americans about the government’s effects on the economy, that also includes state legislation.  It is important to hold politicians accountable for the effects of their policies on the size, scope, efficiency and activity of government.

Unfortunately, it is apparent that State Senator Vulakovich and Representative Christiana are failing taxpayers on those fronts, and they need to be held accountable.

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