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CCAGW Urges Senator Mark Begich to Oppose Reid Healthcare Bill

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) on Nov. 20 urged Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) to vote against cloture on the motion to proceed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) healthcare reform bill, the 2,074-page "Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act."

"Since the beginning of the healthcare debate, CCAGW has been urging its 3,116 members and supporters in Alaska to express their opposition to government-run healthcare. The Reid bill has the same faults as the bill passed by the House - a massive tax increase of more than $494 billion over the next 10 years, mandated healthcare coverage for individuals with up to $2,250 in penalties for failing to obtain coverage, more than 100 new bureaucracies, a $2.5 trillion price tag, an unfunded mandate on the states to increase Medicaid spending by $25 billion, restrictions on current benefits such as flexible spending accounts, and budget gimmicks that mask the true cost of the bill," said CCAGW President Tom Schatz.

Some senators have argued that agreeing to vote for cloture on the motion to proceed on the bill is not the same as supporting the bill, and therefore the vote scheduled for Saturday in the Senate is not significant. However, a Congressional Research Study found when a cloture motion is agreed to in order to start debate, 40 of 41 bills, or 97.6 percent, that were considered between 1999 and 2008, end up being signed into law.

"We are asking every taxpayer in Alaska to contact Sen. Begich to express their opposition to the Reid bill and to make sure that the senator understands the vote on cloture is the most important vote on healthcare this year. There is no 'free vote' - a vote for cloture is a vote for government-run healthcare. CCAGW will rate the cloture vote in its 2009 Congressional Ratings, and a 'yea' vote will be considered as being in favor of higher taxes and more wasteful spending," added Schatz. The phone number for Sen. Begich's office is (907) 271-5915.

CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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