U.S. Chamber To Launch Campaign Fighting Public Option

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July 21, 2009 11:29 a.m.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will launch an anti-public option campaign tomorrow featuring print ads and Internet banner ads with the slogan, “Don’t Drag Down Health Care Reform.”

The campaign will also include local events throughout the August recess, according to a conference call this afternoon with Chamber officials. They’re starting with five states — Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine and North Carolina — where they built up strong grassroots organizations during the 2008 election cycle.

The Chamber is aiming to boost support for House members and senators who have questioned the need for a public plan. The Chamber opposes a public plan, saying it would eventually put private insurers out of business. Its main concern is preserving the employer-supplied health care system and bringing down costs.

The organization does support an individual mandate, forbidding insurers to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and guaranteeing that policies cannot be revoked. It also supports a nationwide marketplace so individuals could keep their policies if they move from state to state.

The August events will include independent rallies at town halls and other forums that members of Congress plan to hold during the recess.

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