Healthcare messages intensify as legislation nears

Businesses and trade organizations are pouring money into dueling advertising campaigns and lobbying efforts as healthcare legislation gets closer to Congressional committees.

Businesses and trade organizations are pouring money into dueling advertising campaigns and lobbying efforts as healthcare legislation gets closer to Congressional committees.

Business Forward, the new coalition, is urging businesses to support healthcare reform while Conservatives for Patients’ Rights is pushing against a federal role by detailing how the health systems work in the United Kingdom and Canada. Even CEOs of pharmaceutical companies, like Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca, are speaking out in favor of reform.

At the same time, health insurers and trade groups increased their lobbying spend in the first quarter of 2009 by more than $1 million, compared to 2008. Like the pharmaceutical industry did early in May, one insurer, the UnitedHealth Group, offered 15 steps this week for how to cut healthcare costs.

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