Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Your federal legislators NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU! The White House set Thursday, March 18, as the deadline for the House to pass the Senate health care reform bill. The House and Senate would then pass a package of fixes to that legislation, with the package considered in the Senate under budget reconciliation rules rather than a super-majority vote on the measure. Democrats are looking at an Easter deadline for completing health care reform, which would put final measures on the president's desk by the end of March.

The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce:
  • supports "legal reforms based on fairness, common sense and personal responsibility that will allow for a stable and sustainable insurance system for providers." The Senate Bill does not contain any such provision.
  • supports "reforming government regulations to improve the delivery of healthcare." The Senate Bill expands the role of the Federal Government into the healthcare and health insurance industries. This expansion neither reforms regulations nor improve the delivery of healthcare.
  • supports "encouraging fair and open competition." The Senate Bill attempts to accomplish this with the establishment of Federally structured "exchanges" that will require Federally mandated benefits.
  • opposes "shifting a disproportionate share of the funding for the cost of healthcare in any way that would impair the health or economic vitality of the Lehigh Valley." The Senate Bill creates taxes on certain healthcare products and services which will increase the cost of healthcare. The Senate Bill requires employers to either to offer coverage to all their employees or pay a tax. There will be increased payroll taxes. These act against the notion of hiring more employees.
  • opposes "unfunded and underfunded government programs and the expansion of mandated benefits, unless sufficient evidence exists demonstrating that the benefits of the mandate clearly outweigh its costs." The Senate Bill broadly expands Medicaid, which history has proven to place an additional burden on the treasury of the fifty states.
Make your voice heard with those representing us in Washington, D.C.

Thanks to our partners, the Pennsylvania Prosperity Project (P2), in less than 60 seconds, you can tell your federal legislators how you want them to vote on this legislation. We encourage you to click the link below and simply enter your address and the P2 system will match you up with your members of Congress. In Step 2, you will be presented with a template letter that you may send as is, or edit at your will. Then, just hit send! It’s your opinion, your vote, and your healthcare!

Click here to send the letter.

For additional information please view the below information and/or contact Michelle Griffin Young at

GLVCC Healthcare Policy

CBO (Congressional Budget Office) review of the legislation

CBO: Senate Bill Makes 10 Million Employees Lose Coverage


Gerald Scharf said...

Dear Chamber staff,

For the record, I strongly support the president’s healthcare plan.

I cannot express how sickening I find the chamber’s disingenuous public position on this important legislation. Last year, the Chamber helped torpedo a Pennsylvania healthcare initiative with the argument that a federal plan was being developed.

The local and national Chambers have since done everything they can to stay in lockstep support of the narrow corporate interests of the health insurance companies.

It is a cruel, immoral, un-American and shameful position that the Chamber leadership is supporting.

I am sure I am not the only member to hold these views. It would have been nice if, in the hundreds of emails I have received from the chamber, there had been one or two soliciting members' views of healthcare reform.


Gerald Scharf said...

Please allow me to add that my sincere outrage and sore disappointment in the Chamber's healthcare policy and lobbying effort is directed at the collective organization.

I sincerely mean no disrespect to the individual members of the chamber staff, the members of the healthcare policy committee or its chair, Mr. Huntzinger.