Posted by politicalpartypooper on December 16, 2009
It looks like instead of a single-payer health care system, or instead of a Public Option, and instead of a Medicare buy-in for those aged 55 and above, and in the face of everyone now being forced to buy health insurance, we will have to accept the reform bill that the Senate is working on. Details are very sketchy at the moment. The only thing I can tell you is that there are real steps being made in health insurance reform, and although we didn’t get what we wanted (did anybody?), at least we may be able to overcome one of the largest enemies to real reform; inertia.
Which leads me to my next topic. It’s time for Congress to pass a Lobbying/ PAC/Campaign Finance reform bill…with teeth.
Here is what I want:
1. ALL lobbyist donations done away with. Anyone who lobbys for a cause, an industry, a group, or any other type of special interest must be banned from personally or corporately contributing to a candidate’s campaign. I have no problem with lobbying per se. I believe we ought to be able to visit our elected officials, and bring our concerns to them personally and corporately. But an idea or a concern ought to stand on its own merit, and right now, our system leaves too much temptation for elected officials and lobbyists to work the system to their advantage.
2. PAC’s should be considered “Individuals”, and their campaign donations should be held to the individual limits. Also, literature, commercial air time, TV ads and any other form of advertising should be considered as a campaign donation. PACs work around contribution limits by claiming to be special interest groups not associated directly with any one campaign. But we all remember those ads that were paid for by the “Committee to Fuck American Rules on Camapign Contributions By Claiming to be a Group of Concerned Citizens Not Associated in any way with (insert candidates name)” A PAC is an entity, and if we limit their contributions and commercials, we will eliminate one more avenue of bribery.
3. Public Financing for elections, of course, would solve most of these problems. But I can hear the outrage by Conservatives already, so I’d settle for common sense limits to what can be spent on a campaign.
4. Limit donations to political parties to the individual levels already established. In other words, eliminate any form of group donation.
Why tackle this reform next? Because it is now clear that the health care, health insurance, Trial Lawyer , and Pharma lobbies had undue influence on the health care reform bill being worked on in the Senate. Almost 60 percent of Americans still support some form of a Public Option to keep insurers honest, yet Senators dropped it in the face of “staunch opposition”. OpenSecrets.org is a good place to find out who accepted the most money from these industries. It is very telling that contribution amounts from all four increased massively over the preceding twelve months.
They weren’t giving free money away because they were concerned about the well-being of you and me. And the money wasn’t free. It came at a price, and that price will now be paid by you and me. Call all of your elected officials, and demand Lobbying, PAC, and Campaign Finance reform now.