Daryl Ilbury

Tripping over health lobbyists in Congress

In Eish!, Politics on November 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm

"Pssst...hey...wanna buy a plaster?"

I can’t think of lobbyists without thinking of the excellent film Thank You for Smoking, the black comedy that uncovered the types of spin and other tactics lobbyists use in the execution of the bidding of their supposedly nefarious masters. However, it wasn’t until Sunday that I realised just how prolific they were.

According to an article in The Observer, “the healthcare industry alone employs six lobbyists for every elected politician”.

Get that? Six healthcare lobbyists for every elected politician.

In the article covering the seeming ineptitude of the Republicans to find a worthy contender to take on Barrack Obama in next year’s presidential elections, Paul Harris explains that for his last presidential campaign Obama spent £740 million – more than that spent by George W. Bush and John Kerry combined just four years earlier.

The man the healthcare industry seems to love to take on Obama (and his unpopular Health Reform Bill) is former House of Representative’s speaker Newt Gingrich. But he’s been caught with his pants down – both literally and figuratively. He has admitted to a number of affairs, but more recently it has emerged that he has been receiving large amounts of money from the heavy hitters in the US healthcare industry via a ‘think tank’ he established called The Center for Health Transformation. The Washington Post has quoted a figure of over $37 million.

That’s a lot of plasters.

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