Health Care Reform Opponents Step Up Efforts Against Proposals
Several groups recently announced that they plan to launch campaigns against pending health reform legislation.
The National Association of Children's Hospitals is lobbying Congress to change a measure in health care legislation that industry leaders say would reduce funding for children's hospitals by as much as $876 million, USA Today reports.
Although hospital groups in July agreed to a $155 billion reduction in federal payments over 10 years, NACH officials say that the deal severely affects children's hospitals and could lead to reductions in services.
Jim Kaufman of NACH said, "It's going to have a huge impact," adding, "You're leaving children's hospitals holding a financial bag."
However, Dennis Smith, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said that children's hospitals are well compensated by other federal programs. He said that the proposed cuts would only affect a small portion of "extra revenue -- and of course, they don't want to give that up" (Fritze, USA Today, 11/12).
Several business lobbying groups -- including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Retail Federation -- announced on Thursday that they will run a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign against the House health care reform bill (HR 3962).
The ads will run on national cable television and in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Virginia (Reichard, CQ HealthBeat, 11/12).
UnitedHealth Group sent an e-mail to its 75,000 employees asking them to write their senators and local newspapers to oppose the proposal to establish a public plan option as part of a health system overhaul, the Washington Post reports.
The e-mail states that the public plan would equate to "government-run health care" and force "millions of Americans" to drop their current coverage. The e-mail also states opposition to cuts in Medicare Advantage plans and promotes higher financial penalties for individuals who do not buy health insurance.
Two executives at CIGNA also sent an e-mail on Wednesday criticizing the House reform bill and calling on employees to "act as emissaries for our company and reach out to your elected officials to educate them" (Eggen, Washington Post, 11/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.