FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Lobbyists are one major reason why our government is broken.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/25/art.health.bill.jpg caption="A copy of the Senate's health care reform plan sits between members of Congress as Pres. Obama hosts a bipartisan meeting to discuss health reform legislation."]
And you don't have to look any further than health care reform to see that we have the best government money can buy:
You think anyone in Washington hears the voice of the common man? Think again.
The fingerprints of lobbyists are all over this legislation. As one expert put it, "They cut it. they chopped it. they reconstructed it. They didn't bury it. I don't think they wanted to."
Lobbyists apparently succeeded at blocking the public option and softening the effect of cost-cutting measures on health care companies.
The American medical association says it helped kill some fees for doctors and a tax on cosmetic surgery - among other things.
At the end of the day, we're talking about legislation that can be called "reform," while what it really is is a three-card monte game designed to protect all the vested interests in the debate except the taxpayer.
Here’s my question to you: What are the chances of health care reform when there are eight lobbyists for every member of Congress?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
E. in Maryland writes:
I say Democrats should just shove health care right down the Republicans’ throats and keep moving… We've wasted enough time trying to pacify the Republicans who have no intention of working with the president.
Leroy in Jersey City, New Jersey writes:
You gotta admit, Jack, these guys are good. Facing a public option that would create competition and provide coverage for the uninsured, they morphed the bill into a mandate – making it illegal for the uninsured not to buy private insurance. I’d say they got their $45 million worth.
As the members of Congress were addressing the health care summit today, the box to the left of them should have depicted any campaign contributions received from medical insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, AMA, and other special interest groups. Then the American people can see who these politicians really work for.
Bob in Houston writes:
You have a better chance of breaking Vegas then reforming our health care system.
Health care will never pass in a responsible way because the minute we elect 'our voice' they start campaigning. These people do not care about doing the right thing, they care about perception.
Jack, I'm afraid the health care reform bill has about the same chance as a snowball in hell. I don't think that Congress really understands the plight of the average working family in regards to health care costs. Premiums going up, coverage going down… high prescription and medical care costs –Congress doesn't have a clue - or they care more about health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.
Pam in Pennsylvania writes:
Money talks, politicians listen.