U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Rita Hibbard's picture

It's time to vote on health care reform, and the big money is being spent

rita_hibbardwebBig business is fighting back hard as the House health care  bill  heads for a vote this weekend. An initial ad buy estimated to cost about $10 million is underway in 19 states and 46 media markets, aimed at blocking passage of the House health care reform bill.

The business coalition, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, includes such big groups as the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors and the National Retail Federation, reports the National Journal, a publication that examines the lobbying industry.

In response perhaps, the AARP and the American Medical Association came out today in support of the House bill. Earlier in the week, the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network also endorsed the bill.

AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said that the group saw the House Democratic bill as the most promising proposal. "We can say with confidence that it meets our priorities for protecting Medicare, providing more affordable insurance for 50- to 64-year-olds and reforming our healthcare system." 

-- Rita Hibbard

Marshmallows and musical chairs help teach Cap'n Trade 101

Well, this week has been a historic one on the climate change front. The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it was going to place more stringent regulations on the nation's largest carbon emitters -- which represent only 2 percent of U.S. businesses, but 70 percent of greenhouses gases -- and Senate Democrats released a draft bill that included even more zealous carbon cuts than one passed by the House earlier this year. (More in Emily Gertz's roundup.)

While most agree that curtailing greenhouse gas emissions and working to slow global warming is a hunky dory idea, especially when you've got walrus pups being trampled alive in Alaska as a result of disappearing sea ice, many still disagree over the means to that end.

[caption id="attachment_4696" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Alan Durning. Photo courtesy of Sightline.org"]Alan Durning. Photo courtesy of Sightline.org[/caption]

One of the ways politicians have proposed combating emissions is through a carbon cap and trade system. While the idea has been kicked around in Congress for a few years now, the concept is still widely debated and -- not surprisingly --  still perplexing to many.