How have various interest groups influenced health care policy?How have various interest groups influenced health care policy?
I would mention the following interest groups:
- The elderly, represented by the AARP. This interest group is strongly in favor of maintaining Medicare in at least its present state. They want to make sure that no policy is made that will reduce coverage, raise costs to the elderly, etc.
- Doctors and health care companies. The medical establishment is, of course, very interested in health care policy. They have, for example, lobbied hard to make sure that government payments to Medicare care providers would not go down. They have pushed hard to ensure that government should not be able to bargain down drug prices for users of government health care programs.
The insurance industry spent over $65 million lobbying Congress so that the recent health care reform effort would be worded in the most beneficial way possible as far as their bottom lines were concerned.
Labor unions, who were the early champion of workplace health insurance, of course did not want to see those gains eroded, so they also lobbied their blocs of voters and used their influence to get the best possible deal for their memberships.
To support #2, any health care policy has to carefully consider the needs of one of the rising population groups in our world which is the elderly. The success of health care means that people are living until they are much older than they used to in the past, and the power of this rising group means that politicians are not able to ignore the needs of this important group that is only going to get bigger.
I think that the insurance industry has probably influenced the health care policies more than they should. he insurance companies are not as concerned about what is best for everyone as they are with what is good for their bottom line.