Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies.
E-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that the lobbyists drafted one statement for Democrats and another for Republicans.
And we wonder why people are fed up with Congress.
Just read an article in The Week which describes the universal healthcare program in Massachusetts which sounds strongly similar to the program the Feds want to pass now. One of the main points of the article is that Massachusetts, when originally drafting and passing the plan, never took into account the rising costs of healthcare. Thus, when the recession hit, more people were out of work, more people applied for the state subsidies for insurance, and tapped out the insurance fund. The rising healthcare costs fueled a $9 Billion gap, which took away money from education, public safety, and other services.
Similarly, the government plan fails to address the rising costs of healthcare. No way are they going to discuss putting caps or limits on payouts if they want the healthcare industry on board with the plan.
Christian Science Monitor has an opinion page on the Universal Health Care proposals being bandied about by both Dem candidates, saying it may not even be Constitutionally legal. Personally, I think the whole idea is crazy. Do we really want another large bureaucracy? Has our government managed anything properly lately? Social Security and Medicare are both nearing bankruptcy. Our war veterans can’t even get proper care at the Army’s “Top” medical facility, Walter Reed. How about the EPA telling us the air was safe to breathe in downtown NYC, right after 9/11? Or 9/11 First Responders who are dying because they can’t get the proper care, after breathing in the toxic dust? We’re providing nice subsidies to farmers who will use their farm land to produce corn for biofuels, driving up the cost of everyday household staples like wheat and milk. And we’re giving HUGE tax breaks to oil companies that make billions of dollars every quarter. How about getting rid of the tax breaks, and sending that money over to people who can’t afford health care? I won’t even go into the management of our economy or the Iraq/Afghanistan war. And I don’t want the government involved in what type of care I can get. What we do need is more insurance choices, tort reform, a limit to frivolous lawsuits, lower insurance costs for doctors. I bet there are more people that have either cell phones or cable/satellite TV than have insurance.
And to just get an idea of how our government works for big business rather than you and me, check out these stats for 2007 (courtesy of opensecrets.org):
The Health sector ranked #1 in total lobbying spending with $425,832,461
Of the $425+ million, $219,685,061 came from Pharmaceuticals/Health Products such as Amgen, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline.
$48,218,712 came from Health Services/HMOs such as United HealthCare, Aetna, Wellpoint, and HealthSouth.
In addition, for 2008 Election Year cycle, the Health Services/HMOs contributed over $5 million to Federal Candidates and Parties, with the top spender being United Health Group.