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Senate candidate Welch favors state-led health care reform

Republican Senate candidate Steve Welch may live in Chester County, but he's seen a lot of Westmoreland County in the past few months.

And those frequent visits are for a distinct reason.

"I believe which way Westmoreland goes is the way the state's going to go," Welch said, pointing to the 2011 resurgence of the Republican Party in county elections. "A lot of new people are getting involved in politics for the first time, and that's where I'm coming from, too."

Welch, who has been endorsed by the state Republican Party in the upcoming primary, met with about 20 voters during a town hall event on Monday night at Giannilli's II restaurant and banquet facility in Unity.

An engineer by training, Welch is an entrepreneur who started his first enterprise, Mitos, a biotech company, in 2001. Since selling the company a few years ago, he co-founded DreamIt Ventures, a business that starts technology companies.

He decided to start big with his first foray into politics by running for Senate. He said the problems start in Washington, and that's where the solutions can be made.

"I can't sit around and watch us continue to go down this path," Welch said.

Welch is a self-described "policy geek" who says the health care reform act, dubbed "Obamacare," should be repealed because it makes neither health care sense nor economic sense.

"There's not a single piece of the Obamacare legislation that controls costs," he said. "If it drives up costs, it makes every American business less competitive."

Welch doesn't deny that health care reform is needed.

"The problem is Obamacare broke it even worse," he said.

He favors allowing states to come up with innovative health care reform plans, figuring out which ones work, and then implementing them on a larger scale.

Welch favors simplifying the tax code and eliminating regulations that he considers job killers.

He said financial regulatory reform law Dodd-Frank will have a chilling effect on small, community banks that fund small businesses -- the same types of banks that gave him his first business loan.

"I just want a level playing field (for small businesses)," he said. "I'm confident that on any given day of the week, small businesses will outdo big business."

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