Caterpillar will cough up over $100 million for health reform

Caterpillar expects health care reform will cost it more than $100 million in its first year of implementation. 

The machinery manufacturer sent a letter to House leaders before last weekend's historical vote urging them to oppose the bill "because of the substantial cost burdens it would place our shareholders, employees and retirees."

Company leaders estimate the increase in insurance costs will hurt their ability to compete with foreign rivals. 

"We can ill-afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors," stated Caterpillar VP Gregory Folley in the letter to congressional leaders Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). 

The expansion to the Medicare payroll tax and the health care mandate are especially troubling to the company. 

More than 130 economists joined Folley in signing the letter. They predicted the legislation would discourage companies from hiring additional workers.