Murphy justifies 'No' vote on health care

He also said he staunchly opposed the bill's provisions that would impose taxes on the area's two largest industries: medical device manufacturers and paper mills.

The provision calls for medical device firms to pay a new tax of 2.5 percent of their sales revenues, and for paper companies to be excluded from a $1.01-per-gallon biofuel tax credit, which would be substantial for the local operations.

"If this bill comes back from the Senate with the same tax provisions, we're going to do everything we can do to mitigate the taxes proposed for our local mills and medical device manufacturers," Murphy said.

That's not all he objected to. He said the bill should focus more on quality of health care, rather than quantity. Doctors now are reimbursed according to the number of patients they see, he said, rather than the outcome of the examinations.

"They became doctors to get people well, not to see how many people they can run through in 10-minute appointments," he said. "For the doctors to pay their bills, they have to jam through a whole lot of visits in a day - this frustrates the doctors and patients, and leads the system in the wrong direction."

The other problem, he said, is the proposed 8 percent tax on businesses that have a payroll of $500,000 or more - which would burden tens of thousands of small businesses across the nation that are the main source of jobs for the nation's workforce, he said.

Murphy said he was frustrated that the payroll cutoff for the 8 percent tax was far too low in the House bill, and that a proposed tax credit to offset this staggering new tax would expire in only two years.

"So many of our small businesses can't really afford to provide health care," he said. "In this bill, we'd see the health care costs explode, and we'd be putting our small businesses and government on the hook to pay for them."

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