The new federal health care law is barely a week old, and already House Democrats are using their power as the majority party to intimidate businesses and silence criticism of the massive legislation. Not surprisingly, this first round of bullying is coming from the Commerce Committee, headed by Henry Waxman of California, perhaps the Capitol’s meanest and most feared inquisitor.
Shortly after President Obama signed the lengthy piece of legislation into law on March 23rd, several major companies released their own analyses of how the law’s many provisions would affect their companies and their employees. Caterpillar, for example, estimated the cost to the world’s largest manufacturer of heavy construction equipment to be in excess of $100 million; the John Deere company estimated its expenses would increase by some $150 million. Verizon and AT&T, while releasing analyses less specific than those issued by Caterpillar or John Deere, noted that the new law would have