- Catering to the needs and desires of his constituency
- Adhering to his party's overall platform
- Helping to craft policy within bipartisan committees
- Not getting caught in a gay bath house with his legs wrapped around a slender Whole Foods stock clerk named Derek
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 records.Overall, health-care companies and their representatives spent more than $126 million on lobbying in the first quarter, leading all other industries, according to CRP and Senate data. PhRMA led the pack in spending and employs 49 former government staff members among its 136 lobbyists, according to The Post's analysis. Dozens of other former insiders are employed as lobbyists by Pfizer, Eli Lilly, the AMA and the American Hospital Association, each of which spent at least $3.5 million on lobbying from January through March.
- Much of your party wants to altogether eliminate the public health option.
- Your stone-age constituency needs complete assurance that not one cent of the package will be used for performing abortions - emergency or otherwise - stem cell research, and end-of-life consultations.
- A lobbyist from a prominent pharmaceutical company - let's call them Lurk - which has promised to support your re-election bid, has just called your office to remind you of their disapproval of a public health option
- The president is leaning on you and your congressional committee to keep an open mind about a substantial public component, which includes Hospice care and an additional tax on so-called platinum health plans.
And people who worry about the government's playing such a role may not remember that even now private insurers make decisions "about what is medically necessary and what is not," said Mike Thompson, a principal in the health care practice of the consulting firm Pricewaterhouse-Coopers. The private insurers, Mr. Thompson said, might decide that a certain cancer treatment was experimental, for example, and refuse to pay for it.
Paul Ginsburg, the president of the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, said he was more concerned about the opposite of rationing: that lawmakers do not seem to be focused enough on controlling costs, by making sure people do not receive unnecessary care or unproven treatments.
For me, this is a season of hope. New hope for justice and fair prosperity for the many, and not just for the few. New hope - and this is the cause of my life - new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American - north , south, east, west, young, old - will have decent, quality healthcare as a fundamental right and not a privilege. we can meet these challenges with Barack Obama. Yes we can, and finally, yes we will.