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Business groups plan TV assault on Obama health-care plan

By Dan Eggen
A coalition of major business groups said Tuesday that it will spend as much as $10 million on television ads over the next 10 days attacking President Obama's health-care reform plans, arguing that legislation under debate in Congress will be too costly for small employers and will kill jobs at a time of economic distress.

Employers for a Healthy Economy, a coalition that includes the U.S. Chamber fo Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, will begin airing the ad Wednesday on cable networks, followed by spots targeting wavering House Democrats in the week after that. The campaign includes funding from the insurance industry and other major business sectors, officials said.

The ads will focus on the assertion that Washington should spend more time creating jobs and alleges that President Obama's health-care reform plans endanger the emerging economic recovery, business leaders said. Obama administration and liberal groups in favor of the health-care overhaul strongly dispute such claims, arguing that the legislation will help restrain rapidly rising premiums that pose a severe burden for employers.

The ad campaign comes as Obama makes a final push for passage of a landmark health-care reform package and underscores the deepening rift between the White House and major business groups, who are fiercely battling the president's proposals for health-care reform, financial regulations and cap-and-trade legislation. In a pair of fiery appearances this week, Obama ratcheted up his attacks on the insurance industry for opposing reform and called on House and Senate Democrats to take final votes on the proposals within the next 10 days.

R. Bruce Josten, the Chamber's executive vice president for government affairs, said Obama was using insurers as a scapegoat despite evidence that other parts of the health-care system are more to blame for skyrocketing costs. "The president wants an enemy that he can point out and hammer and that's what he's trying to do," Josten said in a conference call with other business leaders.Josten said the coalition will spend at least $4 million and as much as $10 million on the campaign.

Jeri Kubicki, vice president of human resources policy at the NAM, said the legislation does not go far enough in controlling costs and will burdening small businesses with additional taxes and regulations. "Unfortunately, our members think the core of this debate has centered on expanding access as opposed to controlling costs," Kubicki said. "We want to start over."

By Post Editor  |  March 9, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Health Care  
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Those companies are disgusting! How many sick people could have been helped by those companies' $10 million dollars they now want to spend on lobbying and TV ads! This is only a taste of what this country has to look forward to since the Supreme Court announced that companies can spend to their hearts' content to buy elections and sway public policy.

Posted by: hyperlexis | March 9, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

It gets even better Charlie!

Beginning on page 1,000 of the measure, Section 3403 reads in part: ". it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection."
In other words, if President Barack Obama signs this measure into law, no future Senate or House will be able to change a single word of Section 3403, regardless whether future Americans or their representatives in Congress wish otherwise!!
Note that the subsection at issue here concerns the regulatory power of the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB) to "reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending."
That is precisely the kind of open-ended grant of regulatory power that effectively establishes the IMAB as the ultimate arbiter of the cost, quality and quantity of health care to be made available to the American people. And Reid wants the decisions of this group of unelected federal bureaucrats to be untouchable for all time.
No wonder the majority leader tossed aside assurances that senators and the public would have at least 72 hours to study the text of the final Senate version of Obamacare before the critical vote on cloture. And no wonder Reid was so desperate to rush his amendment through the Senate, even scheduling the key tally on it at 1 a.m., while America slept.
True to form, Reid wanted to keep his Section 3403 poison pill secret for as long as possible, just as he negotiated his bribes for the votes of Senators Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Bernie Sanders of Vermont behind closed doors.
The final Orwellian touch in this subversion of democratic procedure is found in the ruling of the Reid-controlled Senate Parliamentarian that the anti-repeal provision is not a change in Senate rules, but rather of Senate "procedures." Why is that significant?
Because for 200 years, changes in the Senate's standing rules have required approval by two-thirds of those voting, or 67 votes rather than the 60 Reid's amendment received.
Reid has flouted two centuries of standing Senate rules to pass a measure in the dead of night that no senator has read, and part of which can never be changed. If this is not tyranny, then what is?

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | March 9, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight......we're trying to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, to be signed by a president that also is exempt from it and hasn't read it and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke.

What the hell could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: charlietuna6661 | March 9, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

USA, USA, USA... wake up christaylor666.

Posted by: targetsix | March 9, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Ladies and Gentlemen,
. . . christaylor666, master of the unpunctuated run on sentence. By the way, it seems as if you skipped history class.

Posted by: targetsix | March 9, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Please name these companies. I want to boycott their products and services.

Posted by: xflowers | March 9, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse


Those phony and self-righteous Christians have held this goverment up for many years and have done a great job of it. Let's think Mr. Tom Degan what the American military does for the world and how we have come to the aid of so many. I find that your comment Mr. Degan is ignorant for you to think that way when if you look back on America's history it is our military that makes us and great and the hard-working people of this country.

If you don't like the way America works and what we have done for the world then get out of this country.

Posted by: christaylor666 | March 9, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

It is embarrassing to have to point this out, but of the five-hundred and thirty-five members of the House and Senate, only one man (Bernie Sanders of Vermont) has had the the sense to point out what should be a no-brainer: We need to make drastic cuts in military spending. Or, in terms that even your average right wing extremist will be able to understand:

We piss away far too much of our national treasure on things that go BOOM!

Surely England can afford to insure all of its citizens. In 2009 they did not spend (as we did) 651 billion on its military. This year their projected budget is not (as ours is) 680 billion. Think about that for a minute: That amounts to almost a trillion-and-a-half dollars every two years! For that kind of cash not only would we be able to easily afford medical insurance for every man, woman and child in this dysfunctional nation, we could start investing in our badly neglected infrastructure. And that would translate into jobs - lots and lots of them.

The phony and self-righteous "Christian" politicians that pollute the halls of Congress are never going to take seriously the words of Jesus when He said, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen any time soon. That being the case, I have a modest proposal. Let's cut military spending in half. If current trends continue, in 2011 we're looking at 700 billion in military expenditures alone. Why can't we trim it down to a "mere" 350 billion? Is that such an extreme proposal? Why do we spend more on weapons of death than we do on the life of our own country? What the hell is the matter with us?

Tom Degan

Posted by: tomdeganfrontiernetnet | March 9, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

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