Chamber Of Commerce Flip-Flops Again On Repealing The Affordable Care Act

March 30, 2011 5:35 pm ET — Meredith Kormes

In an appearance on Fox Business' Varney & Company today, Thomas Donahue, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, declared that the Chamber does not want to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It appeared that was not the response Stuart Varney was expecting.

VARNEY:  All of our viewers want to hear from you, because you are the principal spokesman for American business. So with your permission, sir, I want to run through some fast action topics if I may.

DONOHUE: Let's go.

VARNEY: Does the Chamber of Commerce want to repeal Obamacare?


VARNEY: You want to elaborate on that one just a little bit?

DONOHUE: Sure, well, you wanted the answer. They're not going to get it repealed, but there are clearly adjustments. The government has proven it itself by giving more than 1100 exemptions to the rule already. This bill is going to have 158 new regulators, new commissions and new groups that are going to tell everybody how to run health care. We need to fix these issues to keep the good things in the bill and get rid of the stuff that's going to drive up the cost and take away the flexibility. And that's going to happen over a period of time.


A year ago, Donohue claimed that the Chamber was "not going to spend any capital" on trying to repeal the health care law and then turned around and spent more than $86 million to destroy health care reform. Then this January, after Republicans took control of the House, Donohue gave the annual State of American Business address, saying, "Last year, while strongly advocating for health care reform, the Chamber was a leader in the fight against this particular bill, and thus we support legislation in the House to repeal it." The Chamber backed up that support by signing onto a Roll Call ad that urged Congress to repeal the law.