March 19, 2010
Dow Jones Newswires
Caterpillar Inc. said the health-care overhaul legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would increase the company’s health-care costs by more than $100 million in the first year alone.
In a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio, Caterpillar urged lawmakers to vote against the plan “because of the substantial cost burdens it would place on our shareholders, employees and retirees.”
Caterpillar, the world’s largest construction machinery manufacturer by sales, said it’s particularly opposed to provisions in the bill that would expand Medicare taxes and mandate insurance coverage. The legislation would require nearly all companies to provide health insurance for their employees or face large fines.
The Peoria-based company said these provisions would increase its insurance costs by at least 20 percent, or more than $100 million, just in the first year of the health-care overhaul program.
“We can ill-afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors,” said the letter signed by Gregory Folley, vice president and chief human resources officer of Caterpillar. “We are disappointed that efforts at reform have not addressed the cost concerns we’ve raised throughout the year.”
Business executives have long complained that the options offered for covering 32 million uninsured Americans would result in higher insurance costs for those employers that already provide coverage. Opponents have stepped up their attacks in recent days as the House moves closer toward a vote on the Senate version of the health-care legislation.
A letter Thursday to President Barack Obama and members of Congress signed by more than 130 economists predicted the legislation would discourage companies from hiring more workers and would cause reduced hours and wages for those already employed.
Caterpillar noted that the company supports efforts to increase the quality and the value of health care for patients as well as lower costs for employer-sponsored insurance coverage.
“Unfortunately, neither the current legislation in the House and Senate, nor the president’s proposal, meets these goals,” the letter said.
October 30, 2009
A new value-added tax (VAT) is “on the table” to help the U.S. address its fiscal liabilities, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday night.
Pelosi, appearing on PBS’s “The Charlie Rose Show” asserted that “it’s fair to look at” the VAT as part of an overhaul of the nation’s tax code.
“I would say, Put everything on the table and subject it to the scrutiny that it deserves,” Pelosi told Rose when asked if the VAT has any appeal to her.
The VAT is a tax on manufacturers at each stage of production on the amount of value an additional producer adds to a product.
Pelosi argued that the VAT would level the playing field between U.S. and foreign manufacturers, the latter of which do not have pension and healthcare costs included in the price of their goods because their governments provide those services, financed by similar taxes.
“They get a tax off of that and they use that money to pay the healthcare for their own workers,” Pelosi said, using the example of auto manufacturers. “So their cars coming into our country don’t have a healthcare component cost.
“Somewhere along the way, a value-added tax plays into this. Of course, we want to take down the healthcare cost, that’s one part of it,” the Speaker added. “But in the scheme of things, I think it’s fair look at a value- added tax as well.”
Pelosi said that any new taxes would come after the Congress finishes the healthcare debate consuming most lawmakers’ time, and that it may come as part of a larger overhaul to the tax code.
The Speaker also emphasized that any reworking of the tax code would not result in an increase in taxes on middle-class Americans.
Kevin is back from Europe, and he’s baffled at what passes as news in the US. Celebrity cellulite? Recaping The View? Parents of 8 divorcing? Sylvester Stallone’s pinky?!? Despite the MSM’s best effort to dumb us down, KT is here to fill you in on what’s really going on. Today that includes:
Why you can’t sue the FTC
Tom James from HempUSA.org explains wide-ranging benefits of hemp
The hypocrisy of the US govt limiting CEO pay…
AND the solution…A POLITICIAN PAY CZAR
Restless Leg Syndrome–an absurd medical ‘ailment’
How YOU are in charge of your own reality
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