What the Chamber of Commerce Has to Say About Health-Care Reform

July 22 2009, 12:12 PM

First freshman U.S. congressmen like Colorado's Jared Polis delivered a blow to President Barack Obama's health-care plan by raising concerns about taxes. Now comes the United States Chamber of Commerce with a multimillion-dollar ad campaign opposing various health-care proposals in several states, including Colorado, according to The New York Times. "Don't drag down health care reform" is an effort to kill any government-run plan that, the Chamber says, would have an "unfair advantage over private plans, eventually crowding out private plans from the marketplace," says the Chamber's Bruce Josten. Polis teamed with fellow freshmen Dems to score an apparent victory in opposing a surtax, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now favors a change that would only affect people who earn at least $500,000. That news "cheered" Polis, according to The Associated Press. But Congressman Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat and a key player in the reform, says neither Pelosi nor critics have spoken with him about any change.

If a plan comes together, The Washington Post reports, it could be like car insurance---mandated for everyone. Meanwhile, Congressman John Salazar, another Colorado Democrat, supports finding "ways to pay for health care reform by eliminating duplication and inefficiencies in the current system, such as promoting the use of electronic medical records and stopping waste, fraud and abuse," he writes, in a letter to the Steamboat Pilot & Today.