• The health care lobby

    I wrote last week about how I thought that the traditional opponents of health care reform are now looking to be opponents of health care repeal.  I specifically targeted but commented that I thought other industries would feel the say way.  There’s now some confirmation of that, per Kate Nocera.  There’s the health insurance companies:

    America’s Health Insurance Plans lobbied against much of the health care overhaul when it was passed in Congress, but it is not supporting the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. The heads of Aetna and Cigna, members of AHIP, have publicly said they do not support efforts to repeal the law.

    There’s the pharmaceutical industry:

    The pharmaceutical industry, which spent months cutting deals with Democrats to protect its interests, has remained mum on Republican repeal efforts.

    This method of laying low makes perfect sense, according to Chris Jennings, who was senior health care adviser to former President Bill Clinton. Rather than support the repeal effort, which has little chance of becoming law, PhRMA and AHIP are saving their firepower for more practical targets.

    There’s doctors and hospitals:

    The American Medical Association has opposed the repeal, and the American Hospital Association would not comment on the legislation.

    For all the cries of this law being anti-business, the businesses of health care seem pretty content. It’s becoming apparent that they got what they wanted out of reform.

    These are some of the most powerful lobbies in the US.  For decades, proponents of reform complained that these interests stifled genuine progress.  If you think that they can’t do the same to repeal, you’re kidding yourself.

    • Should we assume that this means that insurers, pharma, and docs (not sure what to make of hospitals) all clearly believe they will be more profitable under reform than under repeal? Or do they see repeal as inevitably leading to a “next wave” of reform that would be worse for them?

    • First, the quotes indicate avoidance rather than opposition, for the most part. And the second quote is right on: Why should these lobbies waste their time, even if they do favor repeal? Repeal will get nowhere in the Senate, and even if by some Democratic mistake it does come up for a vote and pass, Obama will just veto it. HR-2 is a show put on for the base, nothing more, and these industries know it.

    • I think Frontline would agree with this post based on their program last year: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamasdeal/themes/obama.html. You really get a sense for the characters in passing PPACA.