17 Apr 2010

Dems Try Punishing Corporate Health Care Critics

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Henry “Nosferatu” Waxman

Michelle Malkin, in the New York Post, describes how the thuggish efforts to punish corporations for describing the negative impact of the health care bill backfired on Henry Waxman.

The House Democrats’ Torquemada got cold feet. Self-styled “chief inquisitor” Henry Waxman announced this week that he’s canceling a planned show trial of corporate executives who called public attention to the financial hit they’re taking as a result of President Obama’s health-care mandate. Business owners can breathe a small sigh of relief. But the witch hunt isn’t over.

You’ll recall that Waxman fired off nasty-grams to the heads of Deere, Caterpillar, Verizon and AT&T last month, demanding their presence at a congressional auto de fé. Their sin? Publicly reporting the costs and consequences of federal health-care taxes on their firms’ bottom lines.

A vindictive Waxman sought internal documents and e-mails from the CEOs about the profit charges. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took to the White House blog and TV airwaves to condemn the “premature” and “irresponsible” disclosures. …

An April 14 memorandum from the Committee on Energy and Commerce Majority Staff informed the Democratic hounds that the “companies acted properly and in accordance with accounting standards in submitting filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission in March and April.”

Indeed, after haggling about the overall impact of the health-care mandate on firms’ annual company cash flows, the staff memo acknowledged that notifying shareholders of these big one-time company write-downs was required by law.

No apology from Locke or Waxman has been forthcoming. Instead, the ruling majority seems bent on pressuring private companies to peddle the “beneficial” impacts of the law. The committee staff extracted statements from the targeted companies that “if” implemented “right” and “correct[ly],” ObamaCare “could” achieve “long term savings for the country” and their businesses.

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