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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Commerce Clause-Schmommerce Clause

This is probably insendiary, violent, right wing, shrill, extremist, hateful, and bloodthirsty.
I'm sure I'll be talking to Mr. Waxman soon.

Waxman, Stupak want CEOs of Deere, Caterpillar, AT&T at congressional hearing
Triangle Business Journal


Reps. Henry Waxman of California and Bart Stupak of Michigan want the CEOs of Deere & Co., Caterpillar, AT&T and Verizon to come to Capitol Hill and explain how the health-care reform bill signed into law last week will lead to billions of dollars in extra costs for their companies.

The four companies have all said they face increased costs because of a provision in the health-care law that taxes a subsidy companies receive for providing prescription drugs to their employees.

AT&T (NYSE: T), which has more than 1,000 employees in the Raleigh-Durham area, said Friday that it would record a $1 billion noncash charge in the first quarter due to the tax changes. Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which announced earlier this month that it would lay off 121 employees in Clayton, said it would take a $100 million charge.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE), which has 636 Triangle employees, put the price tag at $150 million after taxes. Verizon (NYSE: VZ), which provides phone service to Durham County, told its employees in an e-mail that the changes to the Medicare Part D subsidy could make it less valuable to employers and could result in significant changes for retirees and employers.

Waxman, one of the most prominent Democrats in the House, and Stupak, the anti-abortion Democrat whose last-minute deal with the Obama administration ensured health-care reform’s passage, sent letters asking four CEOs – Samuel R. Allen of Deere and Co., James Owens of Caterpillar, Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon and Randall Stephenson of AT&T – to appear at an April 21 meeting of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

The congressmen’s letter challenged the claims that health-care reform would increase the companies’ costs and requested that the CEOs provide copies of in-house analyses and correspondence related to the impact of health reform.

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