Opponents take aim at health bill

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Nov 17, 2009
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Opponents take aim at health bill

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Nov 17, 2009
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Kai Ryssdal: Any day now we are going to get the official total for what the Senate health-care bill is going to cost. The Congressional Budget Office is crunching those numbers. All the bill’s supporters can do until they get those totals is wait. Opponents, however, are having a field day, as Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer reports from Washington.


NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: The insurance industry is lobbying furiously against the Senate health care overhaul. Some health-care analysts say insurers aren’t just shooting arrows at the bill. They’re rolling out rockets.

Analyst Jerry Katz is with Kurt Salmon.

JERRY KATZ: They’re lobbying against the bill. They’re not lobbying against provisions of the bill. They want to take the whole house down.

The Chamber of Commerce is taking a bulldozer to the bill. Yesterday, the Washington Post reported the Chamber is hiring an economist to study the legislation. The goal: more ammunition to sink the bill.

Ewe Reinhardt teaches economics at Princeton. He says, if the Chamber does its study, it will probably get the result it wants.

EWE REINHARDT: You can always get an economist with a PhD from a reputable university to give a scientific report that makes your case. So, yes, there will be such a study.

Even some of the Democrats’ traditional allies are taking aim at the health-care bill. Unions are upset about a proposed tax on high-end insurance plans, which many union members have.

Maya MacGuineas is president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a government watchdog group.

MAYA MACGUINEAS: They have been ringing every warning bell possible. You see them warning their members, using the media as an outlet. They’re more organized than most groups so they can be very persuasive, and their voices can be heard on Capitol Hill.

One voice may be heard on Capitol Hill for several days straight. Some Republicans want to require the Senate clerk to read the health care bill out loud on the Senate floor. It’s at least a 1,000 pages.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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