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Friday, March 26, 2010

Health-care lobbying now a chronic condition in Washington

So, if you think we're done with the lobbying scrum over health care, think again. My column sounds a dark warning:
If you're an insurer, a drug maker, a hospital, a doctor, a device maker, a pharmacist, an employer or a union boss, you don't know what the future will hold.
Maybe Congress will boost the fine on individuals and employers for not buying your product. Maybe Congress will raise or lower the special new excise tax they've levied on your industry. Maybe they'll require insurers to cover your procedure, or maybe they won't.
The one thing you know for sure: Government will never again leave you alone.
As the once and future Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel likes to put it, "Everything is on the table." That means you'd better pay your admission: hire Henry Waxman's legislative director as your lobbyist, contribute to Max Baucus' re-election or Charlie Rangel's legal defense fund, retain Tom Daschle as your consultant, or become a stage prop for President Obama's next "jobs bill."

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