Health care related businesses have long been the biggest spenders in politics. The AMA, American Hospital Association, Pharma, and insurance companies have donated millions to Congressional, Senatorial and Presidential campaigns. They have a massive collection of lobbyists. And its working.
Purdue Pharma, Aetna and The Hartford have all generously contributed to Joe Liebermans election campaigns. And when it came time to vote on health care reform, Joe hijacked the Senate bill, threatening to join a Republican filibuster unless the public option was removed. The biggest contributors to Senator Ben Nelsons campaigns have included insurance and health care professionals, and now he wants to stop the bill over abortion language. Senator Max Baucus who presided over the gang of 6 that removed some of the strongest elements of the House bill is backed by insurance, health professionals and pharmaceuticals. The list goes on and on.
I admire the efforts by President Obama and the dozens of Democratic Senators and Congressional Representatives who have fought so hard to reform health care. Its desperately needed. But with Republicans determined to block any health care reform and the health care industry flexing the muscle gained by contributing millions to elected officials, its unlikely that any substantive health care reform will ever reach the Presidents desk.
Even if it does, its likely to benefit the health care industry more than our citizens.