Story by Chris Graham
An article in the Jan. 12 National Journal reported that America’s Health Insurance Plans and its member insurance companies funneled $20 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for ads designed to scare Americans into opposing health-care reform.
The ad campaign included $94,740 in media buys attacking Fifth District Congressman Tom Perriello in the wake of the vote in the House of Representatives in December to pass health-care reform.
The Virginia Organizing Project is working to raise public awareness of the ad buys – and the implications to the effort.
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce should apologize to Representative Perriello and the people of Virginia for attacking him with laundered money,” said Joe Szakos, executive director of the Virginia Organizing Project. “It’s great that Representative Perriello has the courage to stand up to the insurance industry and its cronies.”
Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris has raised an interesting question in regard to the ad buys.
“If the National Journal found evidence of $20 million, imagine how much more of our insurance premiums were misused to pay for deceitful ads to protect insurance industry profits,” Norris said. “The insurance companies have been saying they’re for reform while paying the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to wage an expensive air war against those who support it. We are grateful Congressman Perriello voted to do what’s right for his constituents and continue to hold firm against the insurance industry-funded assault.”