American Morning

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October 15th, 2009
10:26 AM ET

Millions to make or break health care

A Democratic congressman who resisted “Clintoncare” back in the 90’s but supports “Obamacare,” Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper feels he has seen this movie before: streams of lobbyists hitting the halls of Congress to try to influence democratic plans for health care reform.

Cooper puts it this way: "It is sort of a Super Bowl of lobbying for health care reform. The lobbyists are winning so far. But the game's not over yet."

The Center for Responsive Politics estimates that the health care sector has spent more than a quarter billion dollars on lobbying this one issue… so far this year.

Many of the lobbyists are former members of Congress or former staffers. They’re the Terrell Owens and Tom Brady of lobbying. And they’ve hit the field big time.

Filed under: Politics
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Bob in Florida

    I suspect there is a lot of truth in piece and it points out one of the fundamental problems in our health care. The age that people start developing these "old age" problems is getting younger and younger. When you see girls of 17-18yrs old, actually there was one in Calif of 13yrs old, developing breast cancer, I think there is indication of a problem. That NEVER used to happen 20 or 30 yrs ago. The age people are being diagnosed with heart disease is getting younger as well. Consequently the demand for Ins. Cos. to have to pay out for claims is increasing because younger people are developing more health issues - ergo, premiums go up. The Ins. Cos. are not so concerned with that, costs rise – premiums rise – profits rise. Ins. Cos. say "What, me worry". I honestly don't see why so many people can't seem to see this problem for what it is. Part of the solution would be to remove the profit from health care, increase the profit in prevention research.

    October 19, 2009 at 8:29 am |
  2. Amanda Allen

    I have always loved and admired Ted Kennedy's political career but I am so dissapointed that his institute has accepted $20 million. My two year old son passed from brain cancer and the government has failed for the past year to fully fund the Carolyn Price Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act for $30 million! We go to Washington and beg for them to fund an act that passed UNANOUMASLY in both the house and senate. I feel like the Kennedy Institute is taking money that could have gone to children's cancer research. Shame on them.

    October 19, 2009 at 6:08 am |
  3. Mike Osburn

    If the American public based their decisions in factual evidence then Health Care Reform would very quickly become a no-brainer. I find it almost impossible to believe with 50+ million people uninsured the opposition doesn't consider the possibility that some of these uninsured people are members of their own family. How can they stand by and be willing to exert considerable energy advocating for the status quo while their brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. go without health care. Furthermore, to know the opposition would rally behind a fat, drug addicted sensationalist (Rush Limbaugh) as their voice of reason only lends itself to continuing the worldwide perception of "stupid Americans." Please people...get a clue!

    October 16, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  4. Pauly

    For those supporting the health care industry & especially the insurance co's, why do you think they are spending all this money to stop health care reform? To protect their profits! How many Americans will suffer & die from denial of benefits when they try to recoup all this money? How much higher will premiums go to recoup these losses? If you support thse co's, please don't whine when your premiums go even higher or when you are denied benefits.

    October 16, 2009 at 6:34 am |
  5. john l.

    That 250+ million dollars came out of the outragous premiums the insurance industry has chaged its unsuspecting and compliant customers. So much health care has already been denied sick people because it was "not coverd" due to high costs.

    Don't you think it's time for a consumer revolt? We are really being gauged to keep profits up and coverage unavailable.

    October 15, 2009 at 8:45 pm |
  6. David

    We would not need goverment control of heath care if health care companies would just povide care for everyone at a resonable cost. and help find ways to control the cost, over 260 million really, why dont they use that money to fix there system so the people dont have to have the goverment intervine.

    October 15, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  7. jay m

    Lawmakers are getting paid to rob Americans, what Lowlifes they are.

    October 15, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  8. Larry

    If our lawmakers don't give us health care reform with a public option they'll be looking for jobs next election cycle....lobbyists or not!

    We already know the politicians who are taking gifts from the health care lobbyists.

    October 15, 2009 at 12:56 pm |