Health Care Reform: Lobbyists Win Round One

The special interests and lobbyists that are dedicated to not only bringing down Healthcare reform, and striking the Public Option - have won round one. Why?

Because they are pumping money into the problem, and this money has to be laundered - increasing the amount of time the legislation is on the loading dock, only heightens the chances for corruption. Again, both sides of the aisle - with the lobbyist money actually increasing in the Democratic party.
This chart illustrates.

from Open Secrets: Diagnosis Health Care Reform

This is an incredible amount of money to be spent.  And it will have an immediate effect, the longer it continues. The lobbyists know that healthcare reform is hugely popular, and the GOP has made no secret that they are trying to make this issue Obama's 'Waterloo' - we should not make the mistake that partisan divisions will determine the outcome. That is a red herring the lobbyists would love you to follow.

The real outcome will be determined from an independent, senator by senator, and representative by representative   committee vote. Individual votes are where the lobbyists are going with this issue, and the delays they buy today translate directly into dollars - by some estimates as high as 1.4 million dollars per day.

The vote on this legislation, especially if it has meaningful provisions for healthcare reform - will be epic, and close - In my view it will be largely due to how the legislation is drafted - the right provisions can be a rallying cry to the public - the wrong provisions or language will bury the bill in the waste-heap of every other failed measure. Obscure language and complicated ideas will be a tool, as will the concept that such legislation is destructive - despite a pronounced positive effect shown in many other countries - such as Britain, who started their National Health Service - as a way of saying thank you to the returning Veterans of World War II

We must not underestimate the power that many to many communications mediums have granted us - the lobbyists may have won round one. In order to win round two, we must expose the level of money they're spending - and maintain an open dialogue the senators and congresspersons responsible for carrying this vote.  

Ask yourself these questions.

  • Who are the high-profile industries with a stake in the debate, and what are their efforts at politicking?

  • Who are the  less obvious players, and how do they stand to benefit?
  • What, exactly, is the pharmaceutical industry spending more than $1 million per day to lobby on?
  • Where are the health-professionals-turned-lawmakers getting their campaign cash and how they feel about the various proposals?

  • There are five major congressional committees with legislation on the table--Senate Finance; Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; House Education and Labor; House Ways and Means; House Energy and Commerce - Where are their  sources of campaign funds?

  • Who in of Congress is invested in pharmaceutical and insurance companies that will be affected by how they legislate?

When I first joined myDD I thought of it as "My Due Diligence", and even though its now "My Direct Democracy" I fail to see the difference.  Pick at least one of these bullet points, maybe two - and just see if you can't find a way to make it work.  
Do you have any thoughts on this issue?  Did I miss anything?

Tags: Health care, lobbyism, reform (all tags)


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