What are the roles of various interest groups in healthcare public policy?
There are many different kinds of interest groups involved in lobbying on the issue of health care. Each of them has its own parochial interests. This is one reason why it is so hard to reach any kind of a consensus on how to fix our health care system. Let us look at a few of the more important kinds of groups.
- Healthcare providers. These are groups that represent doctors and hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. These groups are generally interested in ensuring that their profits do not drop. Many of these groups, for example, were in favor of “Obamacare” because they believed that universal health insurance would mean that they would get more business.
- Patient groups. The most famous of these is the AARP. This group represents older Americans. It is very much concerned with ensuring that their coverage under the Medicare program does not get reduced in any way. The AARP is generally against any reforms in Medicare for this reason.
- Insurance companies. Insurance companies want to be sure that they are not regulated too heavily. They want, like the healthcare providers, to be able to make as much money as they can.
Thus, there are many different kinds of groups that have agendas that are not necessarily compatible with one another.