National Journal: Health Insurers Funded US Chamber Campaign Against Health Care Reform

A fascinating story from the National Journal's Under the Influence Blog: Health Insurers Funded Chamber Attack Ads. The Journal's Peter Stone writes that "funds were solicited by AHIP and funneled to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help underwrite tens of millions of dollars of television ads."

I don't usually cover health care, but this caught my eye because it is an example of something we've strongly suspected for a while: sometimes companies use the US Chamber of Commerce as a "blind" when they oppose legislation but don't want to come out directly against it.

I discussed this last November when E&E's Anne Mulkern found that a significant portion of the US Chamber's 2008 revenues came from just a handful of sources. Her report prompted me to wonder "Does the Chamber's extremist agenda opposing climate legislation and clean energy jobs reflect its broad (?) membership? Or, does that agenda reflect a handful of deep-pocketed companies that are pulling the strings at the Chamber?"

Today's National Journal story provides a pretty strong indication of the answer.