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Washington Watch - May 2, 2012

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Presidential Race Is Set

With the expected withdrawal announcement today by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the November Presidential campaign will be set.  President Obama will seek to secure a second term and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will be the underdog challenger. Ideally, Governor Romney would have preferred to have locked-up the Republican nomination earlier (and kept from spending precious campaign dollars). Of interest, however,  then Senator Obama did not secure the Democratic nomination against Senator Clinton until June 7, 2012, so Romney is a little ahead of the game, so to speak. 

What can you expect between now and November 6, 2012?  A lot of “contact” by the Presidential campaigns and if you are lucky enough to live in a key battleground state (Ohio, Florida, or Pennsylvania) or a state with a key Senate race (Virginia, Massachusetts, or New Mexico), get ready because you are going to be inundated with political ads, mailers, phone calls, and canvassers; everyone targeting you and your vote.  

Given the current climate, one can anticipate that the economy is going to be the “key” issue of the election.  President Obama will argue that his policies kept the U.S. from a total depression and Governor Romney will argue that the recovery has moved at a glacial pace and requires the oversight of a proven business leader.  Messaging to their key constituencies while also targeting the ever growing and important “Independent vote” will be a priority. Can President Obama incite the same enthusiasm from four years ago? Or can Governor Romney pick up the disillusioned vote that propels him to victory? It will be an interesting six months.

This summer, the National Association for the Self-Employed will launch our Election Watch website page that will include information regarding the Presidential, Senate, House, and Gubernatorial races, and information regarding candidates’ positions on issues important to the self-employed, such as health care equity, individual tax reform, and economic policy.


House GOP Releases Two Damning Reports On Health Care Law

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations released a staff report that looks at how the health care law affects employer-provided health care coverage. The analysis, based on information provided by members of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, shows that the health care law is raising costs, fostering uncertainty that impedes growth and planning, and putting pressure on employers to consider dropping employee health coverage altogether. Click here to view the report. 

In a new report prepared for Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), data from America’s Fortune 100 companies show they could save hundreds of millions of dollars a year under the new health care law by simply terminating health insurance for their workers and dumping these employees into taxpayer-funded health care exchanges. Click here to read more. 

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