Lobbyists Continue Efforts To Influence Health Overhaul
Here's a look at some last-minute lobbying campaigns and what impact they may have had.
The Washington Post: "Language in both the House and Senate bills would reward hospitals for efficiency in their Medicare spending, a dramatic change in the formula for parceling out the public dollars, which can account for as much as half of a hospital's budget. That could prove to be a windfall for some hospitals but a significant loss of funding for others, mostly those in big cities and the South." The language is "a major lobbying victory for a coalition of hospitals based in the upper Midwest, led by the Mayo Clinic" (MacGillis, 1/6).
Los Angeles Times: A mainstay Republican-leaning lobbying group, the National Restaurant Association, worked last year to build stronger connections with Democrats working on the health care debate. It may be one sign that the "once-solid front of business groups backing the GOP began to crack." A changing political landscape led the association to reconsider its strategy, one board member said: "Are we going to lob bombs from afar and understand that return fire will kill us? Or should we try to mitigate legislation that is a relative certainty?" (Hamburger, 1/6).
Politico: "The progressive coalition Health Care for America Now launched a new campaign today called Finish Reform Right that calls on Congress and President Obama to include a public option and affordable health coverage in a final bill." The campaign includes $400,000 in cable ads and a new Web site (Frates, 1/5).