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Gillibrand: Health care firms cause higher taxes

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Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-NY, wants to investigate health care companies with skyrocketing premiums, to lower taxes to make New York state a better business environment, she said at a meeting with local business owners Thursday.

Mrs. Gillibrand hosted a roundtable discussion at Timeless Frames, Watertown, Thursday to highlight manufacturing job loss in the north country, creating new jobs and a transition to clean energy production.

“I'm here to hear from you,” Mrs. Gillibrand told the local business owners gathered around a table. “There is enormous economic anxiety and one of the biggest solutions to job loss is manufacturing: we can bring back jobs that have been lost through innovation and opportunities.”

George C. Anderson, plant manager of Current Applications, Watertown, said health care premiums have risen anywhere from 60 to 80 percent for his company, and was concerned about the lack of choice among health care providers in the area.

Mrs. Gillibrand wants the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into health care companies that “gouge” people, she said.

“I'm offended and I think it's outrageous,” Mrs. Gillibrand said. “I haven't heard of one insurer that hasn't raised the rates and not much has changed. When only one or two companies are competing, they gouge.”

The north country has lost 3,236 manufacturing jobs in the north country since 2001, Mrs. Gillibrand said.

For the complete story, read Friday's Watertown Daily Times.

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