August 19, 2009 / by emptywheel


Oh yes. The Henry Waxman we know and love.

henry_waxman_official_photo_portrait_color.thumbnail.jpgRemember back in the good old days, when Henry Waxman was Chair of Oversight? Something would piss him off and–like clockwork, approximately 4 hours into the next business day–he’d send out some letters that would make corporate CEOs quiver and bitch. We haven’t gotten to see that Henry Waxman so much now that he chairs Commerce.

However, I think Waxman is getting a little tired with Rahm’s attempts to sideline the work of the Commerce Committee.

Because on Monday he sent out a demand for information on health insurance company’s exorbitant costs–returnable in time for the health care debate in Congress in September.

He’s asking for the following by September 4:

  • A table listing the total compensation for every employee making more than $500,000 a year
  • A table listing board member compensation
  • A table listing off-site conferences and retreats
  • A table listing the company’s total revenue and net income

And the following by September 14:

  • Communication with the board on compensation packages
  • Tables listing premium revenue, claims payments, and sales expenses

And here’s the list of insurance companies mean old Henry is picking on. In case you wondering, Mrs. Bayh’s company, Wellpoint, is on that list. I would imagine that after these details become public–just as the debate between the House and Senate picks up–Evan Bayh might think a little differently about how he represents the interests of–as Mrs. Greenspan calls them–the conservative Democrats in Indiana. Likewise, once Waxman has the details of the retreats that some of those obstructing reform have attended, it may change their commitment to obstruction pretty quickly.

It appears that one of the recipient companies (I’m trying to figure out what PPM would be the abbreviation for) went whining to Mike Allen, complaining,

This is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded fishing expedition designed to silence health plans.

But jeebus! Isn’t this information precisely the kind of information we ought to have in hand before we decide how to reform health care?

Henry? Nice to see you back in old form.

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