Lesley Clark, the Bradenton Herald's Washington correspondent, reports that Buchanan, R-Sarasota, said the bill does "nothing to lower costs, or little to lower costs, it raises taxes $540 billion and it cuts Medicare. Being in business for 30 years and signing the front of payroll checks, I can tell you that one of the biggest concerns with small businesses is the escalation of health care.
"It's $10,000 to $12,000 today for a small business and a family, (Congressional Budget Office) is saying if we do nothing about it and this bill does nothing about it, it will go to $28,000 in the next 10 years. It also increases taxes $540 billion, a lot of those taxes are passed through to small businesses. ... It hurts working families and it will not increase jobs.
"As someone that represents an area that has the most seniors in the country, we have real cuts, not just waste fraud and abuse, of $500 billion and this will really hurt seniors."
Buchanan said he had a senior recently tell him: "All I have is my Social Security and Medicare. It's not perfect, but don't mess with my Medicare."
UPDATED, 6:45 p.m. EDT - The office of House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer put out a statement disputing Buchanan's claim about the health care reform bill cutting funding to Medicare:
"There are no cuts to Medicare benefits. Rather, this bill strengthens Medicare - extending its solvency by nine years and closing the “donut hole.” These false claims are yet another attempt by Republicans to mislead and scare. In fact it’s Republicans who have been long-time opponents of Medicare and are proposing to voucherize it."UPDATED, 10:45 p.m. — Here is the video of Buchanan's speech