Obama's Thug Capitalism

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Posted: Mar 27, 2010 6:45 PM
In the days since President Obama signed his health care measure into law, a number of businesses have come forward with announcements how the new regulations will affect both their bottom lines and their ability to compete.  Today, the Democrats are striking back.

AT&T this week reported that Obamacare will cost the company as much as $1 BILLION.  This claim obviously runs contrary to Obama's promises of reform that would lower costs for businesses.  So how are the White House and Congressional Democrats responding? 

Rep. Henry Waxman and his fellow House Democrats are demanding the companies testify in a congressional hearing because their assertions are "a matter of concern" and "appear to conflict with independent analyses."

In a letter sent to AT&T, Waxman and Rep. Bart Stupak are requesting personal testimony and demanding an "explanation of the accounting methods" AT&T used to project the impact of Obama's health care reform on the company.  They are also asking for "any documents, including e-mail messages, sent to or prepared or reviewed by senior company officials related to the projected impact of health care reform on AT&T."

So because the company's cost assessment does not agree with the administration's they must answer to Congress?  This smells like political bullying to me.

On top of AT&T's estimated $1 billion, the wave of other companies coming forward so far includes Deere & Co., $150 million; Caterpillar, $100 million; AK Steel, $31 million; 3M, $90 million; and Valero Energy, up to $20 million. Verizon has also warned its employees about higher health care costs.  Undoubtedly there will be many more companies coming forward in the coming weeks, unless Congress continues to try and bully them into silence.