Like previous deals given to Senator Ben Nelson (Nebraska) and Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), Speaker Pelosi and President Obama offered reluctant House Democrats more favors in exchange for their support on health care legislation. One Democrat from Northeast PA, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (PA-11), received special tax exemptions for Geisinger Health, one of the largest insurance companies in the region.
According to the bill, tax-exempt insurers, such as Geisinger Health, now only have to pay half of the tax levied on insurance premiums. Geisinger Health, based out of Kanjorski’s district, has offices scattered throughout the Northeast corner of the state.
In addition, Kanjorski secured an extension on the deadline on new doctor-owned hospitals to apply for Medicare program eligibility. Insiders have said this will benefit only 13 facilities in the nation; not surprisingly, Scranton Orthopedic Specialists (again, based in PA-11) is one of them.