Just an annual reminder on where political power lies in any health finance debate.
- Groups with lots of money have more power than groups with no money.
- Groups that routinely vote have more power than groups that don’t vote.
- Groups that are trusted have more power than groups that are not trusted.
- Groups that are liked have more power than groups that are not liked.
What does that mean?
At the major lobbying group level, we always have to remember that doctors and nurses are some of the most trusted professions in America. We also have to remember that hospitals, especially rural hospitals, are frequently the largest employer in the town or the county. We also have to remember that the sympathetic blonde seven year old with a bowl cut whose parents are doing reasonably well for themselves will be able to get on TV and cry.
Insurers are usually slightly more popular than stink bugs and we don’t look good on TV. Any story that involves an insurance company is usually a bad thing as we are in a position where insurers say no to the crying doctors and nurses and we fill the role of EVIL BASTARD quite well.
Just keep these basic assumptions in mind when do a power analysis of interest group lobbying over the next year’s wild ride of health care and health finance legislation.