You are hereWashington Post: Health bill foes solicit funds for economic study

Washington Post: Health bill foes solicit funds for economic study


November 16, 2009- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an assortment of national business groups opposed to President Obama's health-care reform effort are collecting money to finance an economic study that could be used to portray the legislation as a job killer and threat to the nation's economy, according to an e-mail solicitation from a top Chamber official. 

The e-mail, written by the Chamber's senior health policy manager and obtained by The Washington Post, proposes spending $50,000 to hire a "respected economist" to study the impact of health-care legislation, which is expected to come to the Senate floor this week, would have on jobs and the economy.

Step two, according to the e-mail, appears to assume the outcome of the economic review: "The economist will then circulate a sign-on letter to hundreds of other economists saying that the bill will kill jobs and hurt the economy. We will then be able to use this open letter to produce advertisements, and as a powerful lobbying and grass-roots document."

James P. Gelfand, the e-mail's author, confirmed its authenticity in a brief telephone conversation Sunday evening. He said the campaign against Democratic health legislation would only be launched "if that's what it found," but declined further comment and referred questions to a Chamber spokesman.

The behind-the-scenes effort by the business groups to influence the legislative debate is part of an intensifying series of attacks by the opponents of Democratic health-care plans. President Obama has said he wants a final bill on his desk by the end of the year, leaving opponents little time to raise new objections as the legislation marches forward.

FULL STORY HERE:

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