Familiar Players in Health Bill Lobbying
Firms Are Enlisting Ex-Lawmakers, Aides
By Dan Eggen and Kimberly Kindy
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, July 6, 2009
The nation’s largest insurers, hospitals and medical groups have hired more than 350 former government staff members and retired members of Congress in hopes of influencing their old bosses and colleagues, according to an analysis of lobbying disclosures and other records.
The tactic is so widespread that three of every four major health-care firms have at least one former insider on their lobbying payrolls, according to The Washington Post’s analysis.
. . . The hirings are part of a record-breaking influence campaign by the health-care industry, which is spending more than $1.4 million a day on lobbying in the current fight . . .
. . . A June 10 meeting between aides to (Senator Max) Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and health-care lobbyists included two former Baucus chiefs of staff: David Castagnetti, whose clients include PhRMA and America’s Health Insurance Plans, and Jeffrey A. Forbes, who represents PhRMA, Amgen, Genentech, Merck and others. Castagnetti did not return a telephone call; Forbes declined to comment.
We will get exactly what we deserve out of this fraudulent ‘attempt’ at healthcare reform. Exactly what we demand as users of healthcare– fear and misrepresentation used to maintain the outrageously profitable status quo.
Over on the Senate side, the members of the Health, Education and Labor Committee (the guys who will decide the issue) are currently busily stuffing their pockets to deny you the healthcare that keeps us 37th in world rank, behind Costa Rica. These Dudes who have your best interests at heart, also have $50 million in cash from other interests (care to guess which?).
So, they keep us divided, scare hell out of us with the ‘socialized‘ medicine practiced in France (Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland) and a host of other free and democratic governments, all of whom have one thing in common—far better health care than ours at a third less cost.
Herbert Hoover was the first president to try and fail to bring us decent health care. He was followed by Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower (who at least got us roads), Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter, before Reagan gave it up. Clinton tried, Bush didn’t and Obama has the moneyed crowd against him.
They are faceless, but pack a wallop. At least we knew who Al Capone was and what he looked like. Now his reincarnation is in Washington.
You aren’t going to get any progress, folks. Too disinterested (or sick) to get off the sofa and raise hell, you actually don’t deserve any.
I have a friend, twice stricken with cancer and about to lose his job. Should his cancer re-occur, he will simply (and surely) die because any new policy will show his disease as pre-existing. His life has now become a pre-existing condition as well.
Anyone have any thoughts?