Behind the Scenes in Washington: Lobbying for HealthCare
I have a lot of family and friends who like to complain that nothing ever gets done in Washington. While it's true that the political process often winds up in gridlock (as the Founding Fathers' system of checks and balances intended, by the way), that doesn't mean that nothing happens. In fact, quite a lot happens, it just happens behind the scenes. There is extensive lobbying, most of which doesn't make it into the paper or the evening news. If you're not looking for the information, if you're not part of the process, you're not likely to know just how much activity there is at any one time.
For example, the so-called "Super Committee" is due to make its recommendations to Congress by November 23rd. The group has been tasked with identifying ways to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 billion over the next decade. Cutting the budget means some groups stand to lose, and lobbyists who often work to make things happen, turn their attention to making sure that things (i.e., budget cuts) don't happen to the groups they represent.
Not surprisingly, the Super Committee has heard from a number of national interest group organizations, and many of them represent the health care industry and concerns about cuts to Medicaid and/or Medicare. Kaiser Health News has compiled a list of some of the more prominent organizations and their goals for the outcome of the Super Committee's process. It's worth reading, and you can find it here.
I'm an Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa. I received my PhD in health policy and management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a fellowship in health services research at Brown University. I've worked previously as the Asst. Director of Health Policy for the Assoc. of Clinicians for the Underserved, and as a policy ...