The doctor, I mean, ex-Congress member will see you now.
According to The Washington Post, the U.S. health care industry has hired over 350 ex-government officials and ex-members of Congress to influence their former colleagues in the debate over health care reform. The newspaper’s report says three out of every four major health care companies employ at least one government insider and an estimated $1.4 million is spent daily on lobbying efforts by the health care industry.
The Washington Post via CBS News:
The nation’s largest insurers, hospitals and medical groups have hired more than 350 former government staff members and retired members of Congress in hopes of influencing their old bosses and colleagues, according to an analysis of lobbying disclosures and other records.
The tactic is so widespread that three of every four major health-care firms have at least one former insider on their lobbying payrolls, according to The Washington Post’s analysis.
Nearly half of the insiders previously worked for the key committees and lawmakers, including Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), debating whether to adopt a public insurance option opposed by major industry groups. At least 10 others have been members of Congress, such as former House majority leaders Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) and Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), both of whom represent a New Jersey pharmaceutical firm.