October 24, 2011

FOD

Would you like a side of pork to go with your graft?
In just six weeks, nearly 200 companies and special interests have reported that they’re lobbying the 12-member supercommittee.
It’s a stunning ratio of lobbyists to lawmakers but makes sense when you consider the high stakes faced by interests ranging from the health care industry to Native American tribes. The groups fear the supercommittee will find $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction before Thanksgiving by cutting their funding or raising their taxes.
Lobbyists have blitzed Washington, blanketing Capitol Hill with phone calls to lawmakers’ offices, launching multiplatform advertising campaigns and working to activate grass-roots bases.
And lest you wonder about what segment of American industry is leader of the pack:
For now, the health care industry is leading the charge on the lobbying front, according to the latest lobbying disclosure reports filed late last week. Nearly 200 trade associations, companies and lobby shops working for groups such as the hospital association, insurance company WellPoint and drug manufacturer AstraZeneca are publicly disclosing for the first time that they’ve actively sought to influence the panel.
The AHA, for one, is carrying the torch for its members, arguing that they can’t take any more budget slashing after the health care reform bill slashed $155 billion from the industry.
Pollack said the group has been engaged in an advertising blitz and, traditional shoe-leather lobbying, and will have had two member fly-ins before the supercommittee produces a public report.
Obamacare, the legislative darling of the Dim party.  I watch those ridiculous pharmaceutical company commercials on TV, and AstraZeneca is one of the companies that always has a number to call 'if you can't afford your medicines'.  I wonder if they ever considered saving some money out of the lobbying budget to cover the 5000% mark up they charge on products for those less fortunate.

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