July 20 2009, 11:38 AM
Count Jared Polis, a freshman U.S. congressman from Boulder, among the Democrats who are apprehensive about President Barack Obama's push to reinvent and improve the nation's ailing health-care system. Although the White House and Democratic leaders say the government is closer than ever to approving substantial changes, some fear proposals now under serious consideration lack Republican support and, worse, might do more harm than good. On Friday, Polis voted against a House bill that ultimately passed, saying he fears it "could cost jobs in a recession," reports The New York Times, and citing a surtax on high-income earners and a payroll tax of as much as 8 percent to help finance coverage for the uninsured. "Some successful family-owned businesses would be taxed at higher rates than multinational corporations," Polis says. He has joined 21 other freshman Democrats in signing a letter expressing doubt about the surtax, according to The Wall Street Journal. In light of the opposition, the Obama team is planning to "dramatically increase public pressure on Congress," writes The Washington Post. A lot of politics have already gone into the bill. In arguing for sweeping changes, Obama mentioned a Colorado woman with breast cancer (via Politico). Meanwhile, the death of a student at a Denver hospital, as reported by The Denver Post, was used by Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee to slow Obama's bill, according to a Journal blog.