Congressional Dems threaten companies who complain about Obamacare costs March 28, 2010 Rick Moran There's nothing new in Congressional Democrats hauling businesses before some committee or other to brow beat them and get face time on TV. So, it should come as no surprise that these jack booted thugs would order executives from companies that pointed out the massive increase in costs a particular provision in Obamacare would cause them to incur to testify before Congress. First, John Hinderaker at Powerline: Caterpillar said Obamacare will cost it an additional $100 million in the first year; Medtronic warned that the new tax on its products "could force it to lay off a thousand workers;" Verizon told its employees that it "will likely have to cut healthcare benefits to offset the new costs;" and AT&T announced that it will record a $1 billion non-cash expense in the first quarter and "will be evaluating prospective changes to the active and retiree health care benefits offered by the company." These announcements are the tip of the iceberg; hundreds like them will follow as Obamacare becomes a reality. Congressional Democrats, evidently stung by the bad publicity, are trying to strike back. Then, the threats: Meanwhile, Henry Waxman and House Democrats announced yesterday that they will haul these companies in for an April 21 hearing because their judgment "appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs." In other words, shoot the messenger. Black-letter financial accounting rules require that corporations immediately restate their earnings to reflect the present value of their long-term health liabilities, including a higher tax burden. Should these companies have played chicken with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid this politically inconvenient reality? Democrats don't like what their bill is doing in the real world, so they now want to intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet. Apparently, in this brave new world created by Obamacare, having an opinion about its benefits that is at odds with the ruling party is not good for the health of one's company. Waxman wants all internal communications connected to the analysis of how this provision will impact companies, including private emails. Andy McCarthy of NRO gets it right: If we are now under a system where disclosure gets you a public whipping and other threats by the Powers That Be while nondisclosure promises the ruinous expenses of defending against criminal investigations and civil enforcement, this is no longer anything but a thugocracy.