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"NULLIFYING" HEALTHCARE REFORM

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer - Sun., 2/7/10
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The Obamacans have spent a lot of their political capital during the past year to woo health-insurance giants, drug companies, hospital chains, and the rest of what is called the health-care "industry." The White House wanted the industry's support for its health-care bill so badly that it compromised its own reform legislation into corporate mush, but at least the industry is now supporting Obama's bill. Or is it?

While lobbying groups for these corporate interests profess approval of the federal reform, these same interests are plotting to undermine any national law that Obama might get passed--at the state level. Their primary tactic is throwing basketfuls of campaign cash at state legislators. Last year, drug companies alone poured $20 million into the coffers of state politicians, and it's estimated that industry-wide donations to state lawmakers this year will be well above $100 million--more than these corporate interests will spend on congressional races.

This corporate-funded campaign argues that states can "nullify" federal laws they say are unconstitutional. It is being orchestrated by a network of corporate-funded think tanks, foundations, and front groups, after the state-nullification idea was proposed by the Goldwater Institute, a far-right-wing think tank in Arizona. The American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-funded group created to influence state legislators, then began promoting the loopy Goldwater idea last year andthe nullification scheme has been introduced in 15 state legislatures.

To keep up with what's going on in the states, contact Health Care for America Now: www.healthcareforamericanow.org.



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