Influence: A Labor Leader’s Return And The Blue Dogs’ Campaign Cash
Health care lobbyists, industry groups and labor leaders continue to vie for influence as Washington braces for the health reform debate to return to town next month.
The New York Times: Dennis Rivera, a once-powerful New York labor leader, vanished two years ago after stepping down from his post as chief of a 300,000-strong health care workers' union. He is resurfaced as a Service Employees International Union-operative with the mission of rescuing President Barack Obama's flagging health reform initiative. His activities so far include brokering a White House deal with hospitals, insurers and drug makers to cut hundreds of billions in health costs, and sending union members to rally in support of reform at town hall meetings where lawmakers were facing criticism (Greenhouse, 8/26).
Related KHN story: Checking In With SEIU's Dennis Rivera (Rau, 7/14)
McClatchy/The Miami Herald: The Blue Dogs, a conservative voting bloc within the Democratic caucus, have tempered the Democratic leaderships plans to rush health reform legislation, create a public plan, and squeeze the health care industry. At the same time, the Blue Dogs' campaign fund received more than half of its contributions in the first half of this year from drug makers, insurers and health industry groups, according to watchdog groups. Individually, Blue Dogs received $62,650 more than other Democrats on average from health sector contributors. The Blue Dog health reform ringleader, Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., netted almost $1 million from those contributors (Abdullah, 8/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.