Why is the US Chamber of Commerce lying about health care reform?
On Friday, I saw a stunning and perplexing ad against health care reform paid for by the US Chamber of Commerce. The ad was stunning for the breadth of the chasm between it and the truth, and perplexing because serious health care reform is in the interest of US businesses, which the Chamber purportedly represents.
More on that in a moment; first I’ll debunk the untruths in the ad.
Lie #1) The ad claims health care costs to families will go up. In fact they will go down. This is so obvious that anyone who’s read the first thing about the House and Senate bills should not be fooled by the Chamber’s efforts on this point. The Congressional Budget Office found that most people’s costs won’t change, and many will go down. Moreover, additional programs and provisions to pay for preventive care in the bills will make people less likely to acquire the preventable illnesses like diabetes (caused by poor diet), cancer (often caused by bad habits like smoking and excessive consumption of meat), and heart disease (poor diet and smoking again) that incur the greatest costs on the system.
Lie #2) The ad claims the current bills before Congress will add to the deficit. The Congressional Budget Office says both bills will reduce the deficit.
Then of course the ad puts “$1 trillion” in giant letters across the screen. Let’s put that in context: This is a cost over ten years, so it’s about $100 billion annually. The US federal budget is $3.1 trillion in 2009, making $100 billion a whopping 3.3% of the budget. The US economy is $14 trillion annually.
The Chamber’s membership is comprised of businesses. Businesses pay for most people’s health insurance. The cost of this insurance is going up four times faster than inflation and ten times faster than the economy is growing. It’s said that GM’s health care costs add thousands of dollars to the price of every car it sells.
So shouldn’t the Chamber of Commerce be in favor of unloading this expense from the backs of its members? The group’s opposition to reform makes no sense.
If you’d like to support the Obama Administration’s efforts to call out these liars, click here.
If you own an iPhone or are a customer of AT&T, tell them to quit supporting these lies (and the ones they tell about global warming) through their membership in the US Chamber of Commerce.
Here’s the number: (800) 355-9542
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