Who’s Funding The Chamber?

The New York Times reported on Sunday that a coalition of groups led by the US Chamber of Commerce had spent $11 million running ads in key districts against health care reform so far this month.  Where is the money coming from?  The insurance industry is probably a major contributor, as they were last fall when they spent $10-20 million on ads fronted by the Chamber.  The major small business and big business organizations have taken nuanced positions, but some members are probably passionately opposed.  The hospitals, drug companies, and most physicians’ organizations are supporting the bill.  Who else has deep pockets and an interest in this legislation?  What about the oil industry and the banks?  They may not have much of a direct interest in health reform, but the longer this fight drags on the less political capital remains for financial reform and cap and trade.  The Chamber just announced that it’s spending $6 million against financial reform, so if it made strategic sense to use some of these resources against health care as a stalling tactic the logistics would be trivial.  This might be another way in which Obama’s ambitious policy agenda is more difficult than the sum of it’s parts.

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