How Health Lobbyists Influenced Reform Bill

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Please read the Chicago Tribune’s excellent piece on the influence the health lobbyists played on the final reform bill approved by both the House and the Senate.

For example:

David Nexon had a big problem. An early version of national health care legislation contained a $40 billion tax aimed squarely at members of the medical device trade association he represents.

When Senate Democrats unveiled their bill in mid-November, Nexon’s handiwork was evident. The tax on device-makers was still large — $20 billion — but only half what it might have been without the efforts of Nexon and his fellow lobbyists.

And, there’s this:

An analysis of public documents by Northwestern University’s Medill News Service in partnership with the Tribune Newspapers Washington Bureau and the Center for Responsive Politics found a revolving door between Capitol Hill staffers and lobbying jobs for companies with a stake in health care legislation.

At least 166 former aides from the nine congressional leadership offices and five committees involved in shaping health overhaul legislation — along with at least 13 former lawmakers — registered to represent at least 338 health care clients since the beginning of last year, according to the analysis.

Their health care clients spent $635 million on lobbying over the past two years, the study shows. The total of insider lobbyists jumps to 278 when non-health-care firms that reported lobbying on health issues are added in, the analysis found.

Like pigs at the trough, the health lobbyists swarmed Congress and they got what they wanted. Meanwhile, the uninsured? Not so much. Ain’t America great?

This entry was posted in Congress, Healthcare, Lobbyists, News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to How Health Lobbyists Influenced Reform Bill

  1. retahyajyajav says:

    We’ve sold our souls to the lobbyists.

    I mean, why vote? It doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, who we elect to office don’t respond to us — they respond to their lobbyist masters.

  2. libhomo says:

    This is a wealthcare bill, not a healthcare bill. If Schumer votes for this piece of garbage, I will never vote for him for any public office ever again. Same goes for Gillibrand.

    Tasini looks better and better every day.

  3. Prairiedog says:

    It appears that we now know who President Obama was meeting with when he hosted close to 300 health care executives and lobbyists behind closed doors in the months before the Congress broke for their summer recess?

    Not exactly what I expected when I heard Obama say he would bring change and transparency to the White House.

  4. TOM339 says:

    The government stipend kicks in as long as your income falls below 400% of Federal poverty.

    While $43,000 a year is a lot in St. Joseph, MO, or, in Lubbock, TX, or, in Albany, GA, $43,000 a year isn’t lower middle class in high housing areas like Boston, MA, Los Angeles, CA or, Chicago, IL.

    What of people without insurance living in a high housing area, making slightly more than 400% of Federal poverty but who spend half their income on housing? Will the government stick them with paying the full amount to buy into a policy or risk being fined?

    Regional differences in a country this size adds to the complication of implementing such a scheme. I hope the people writing this program take this into consideration or we are going to see a bad situation made worse.

  5. Brigadoon says:

    Tom339 – Those are very good points. I think since the Obama administration let the insurance industry write the bill, at very least, people without health insurance who will now be forced by law to buy a policy and who live in expensive regions, should be able to earn up to 600% of Federal poverty ($57,000) and still get assistance.

  6. bradfrmphnx says:

    The two things that are bad about a monopoly (and health insurance companies are a monopoly) is that they deliver a dead weight loss to society, and that they employ rent seeking practices. (Using monopolistic profits to further gain legislation to support their monopoly.) This is a blatantly clear use of rent seeking. No other business can do this but government sanctioned monopolies. Baseball is the only other one I know of. Monopolies are supposed to be illegal.

  7. Walk on Socks says:

    I’m not an expert on healthcare reform but wouldn’t it be simpler and cheaper just to expand Medicare for all Americans and close the 80/20 reimbursement gap?

    94 cents of each $1 dollar of Medicare goes to patient care. I challenge you to find just one for-profit medical insurance company who can do this? Yet, the GOP and conserva-Dems keep cutting doctor’s reimbursement.

    Leave it to the U.S. Federal government to make a remedy to a problem unnecessarily complicated and inefficient.

  8. Bill Hussein O'Reilly says:

    The solution is simple: line all the lobbyists up against a wall and shoot them with a machine gun.

  9. feminazi says:

    So now Olympia Snowe is playing good cop, bad cop with Joe Lieberman and has vowed to filibuster the healthcare bill to death? This silly, old bitch is so out of touch the voters of Maine who elected her to office.

  10. Fran says:

    Oy! In the private sector the flow of money would be considered unethical & a conflict of interest. It would be grounds for dismissal.
    But politicians votes are bought & paid for in the light of day.

    Sick!

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