Business Groups Begin TV Ad Campaign Against House Health Bill
Lobbying and business groups continue to organize and spend millions to shape health care reform.
The Arizona Republic/Associated Press report: "Eleven of the nation's largest business groups are beginning a multimillion-dollar TV ad campaign that says the health overhaul legislation in the House would raise taxes and worsen the economy without curbing medical expenses. ... The commercial is the latest example of stepped-up opposition by large segments of the business community as the House and Senate prepare to vote on Democratic bills revamping the nation's health care system. Calling themselves Employers for a Healthy Economy, the coalition of sponsoring groups ranges from the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small businesses, to organizations representing large corporations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce" (11/2).
The Hill reports: "The White House has recently launched attacks at Fox News, HMOs and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but pharmaceutical companies, a longtime boogeyman for Democrats, have dodged the administration's ire. ... The deal the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) made with Democrats over the summer, repeatedly touted by [President Barack] Obama as a breakthrough to passing healthcare reform, has kept the powerful trade association on friendly terms with Obama and his advisers" (Youngman and Young, 11/3).
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: "Healthcare leaders in North Texas said healthcare legislation in Congress could hurt their businesses and cost consumers money - but many also said changes are needed to address the millions of uninsured Texans, growing healthcare costs and low reimbursement rates by the government. A panel of hospital executives speaking Monday at a healthcare summit sponsored by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce painted a picture of a system that is struggling under increased demand from consumers who often use emergency rooms for primary care, may not have health insurance and sometimes can't afford follow-up and preventive care that could keep them from returning for more treatment (Hunt, 11/2).
The Washington Post reports: "After some small-scale, disjointed efforts to push for health care reform, civil rights groups are renting temporary office space on K Street and combining their efforts to run an operations center with the sole goal of lobbying on health care policy. The office will be run by staffers from the National Urban League, the NAACP and the Black Leadership Forum. Over the next two weeks, they will coordinate rallies in 10 cities, run a phone bank where volunteers will pepper members of Congress with calls and keep up with the latest developments in the debate" (Thompson, 11/2).