"As the debate intensifies in Congress, health care sector contributions to lawmakers on the committees overseeing" proposals for health care reform "are on the upswing," according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. In the first half of 2009, "health care interests donated $19.7 million to all federal lawmakers.
I'm beginning to think that the Kool-Aid being served at meetings of the Senate Finance Committee's soon-to-be infamous Gang of Six is coming from either fantasy land or the health insurance industry.
For those of you who might not be following the sorry machinations of health care reform in the Senate Finance Committee, the Gang of Six is a group of three Democrats and three Republicans hand-picked by Committee Chair Max Baucus, who is one of the three Democrats. The gang meets often, supposedly drafting a bipartisan bill. In reality, if such a bill emerges, it will be a gift to the insurance industry because the gang includes some of the industry's best friends on Capitol Hill.
New York Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch writes that the Center for Media and Democracy's Wendell Potter is providing the health care reform movement with its most powerful ammunition. "Everyone is familiar with the street adage that one should not take a knife to a gunfight. ...
"You can't pretend like you are broadcasting news when it is a paid advertisement," said Senator Claire McCaskill, urging the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against "ads that mimic newscasts, with actors or even news anchors from a TV station," reports Broadcasting & Cable.
With the Waxman-Markey climate change bill before the U.S. Senate, coal and energy utility lobbyists are out in force. While the legislation will only have direct effect in the United States, it will indirectly have a major influence on the negotiation of a replacement agreement to the Kyoto Protocol.