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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

Oliver Wyman, a business consulting firm, says ObamaCare's Health Insurance Tax — HIT for short — “will cause a significant and continuing rise in the cost of health insurance premiums.” And the hit will be hardest in neighboring West Virginia, where the average premium increase for small-business employees on a family plan will be as much as $9,000 in the first decade of implementation. At that rate, either no small businesses will be left in the Mountain State or none will be offering health coverage. Which is the ultimate goal of ObamaCare — nationalized health care. ... Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett says some state legislators refused to cooperate on some bills because, perhaps, he refused to sign budgets including those infamous WAMs — “walking around money” for pet projects. Mr. Corbett declined to name names. But those who decline to do their jobs because they couldn't get the chief executive to grease their dirty palms deserve to be exposed, then voted out of office. ... Speaking of Corbett, a few hours after visiting the Trib last Tuesday in Pittsburgh, he and first lady Susan Corbett lighted the Christmas tree on the front steps to the state Capitol in Harrisburg, resurrecting a tradition that was scrapped in the 1980s. It's nice to see. And do note, the tree is not called a “Holiday tree” or a “Unity tree” or a “Winter Solstice tree” or “Just a Tree So We Don't Offend Anyone.” It's called a “Christmas tree.” Hear! Hear!

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