Groups Unite For Health Care Reform
Lobbying on health care increases and, despite differences, drug makers and consumer groups unite to push for their version of health care reform. The Seattle Times reports on a multimillion-dollar campaign including mailings and television ads produced by PhRMA and Families USA: "Yes, Democrats and Republicans in Congress appear irreconcilably divided on the key tenets of a health-care overhaul. But two strange bedfellows - the pharmaceutical industry and a left-leaning national consumer-advocacy group - have united to promote a consensus health-care bill in Washington and 10 other key states."
"The two organizations don't make for natural political allies. Families USA, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that calls itself the voice for health-care consumers, has accused drugmakers of charging excessive markups. Families USA also strongly supports creating a public health-insurance plan that would compete with private insurance to drive down costs. Phrma, though it has not taken a formal position on a public plan, favors expanding choices among private health insurers" (Song, 9/3).
Meanwhile, NPR interviews lobbyist Paul Lee, a founder of Strategic Health Care, and examines how
"Washington lobbyists are pushing the interests of health insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals and many more" (9/2).