- Today’s Washington Post, page A19, a story on the Speaker of the House and health care legislation, “Pelosi Puts Onus on Industry,” with the subhed, “Deals Aside, She Says, Hospital and Drug Firms Can Do More.”
- From the American Association for Justice’s summer convention brochure, the schedule for Saturday, July 25:
- On page 16, American Association for Justice’s 2nd Quarter 2009 House lobbying disclosure report, a list of the health care provisions and legislation the AAJ lobbied on. The disclosure category is “torts,” and the unifying theme is the trial lawyers’ opposition to any limits on legal liability.
Our point, which we’ve made before, is that the influence of the American Association for Justice, trial lawyers and their campaign contributions has escaped the journalistic examination given to industries like pharmaceuticals, hospitals and doctors.
As has the fact that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a pivotal figure in Congress’ health care debate, is speaking Saturday to thousands of the litigation industry’s members. Indeed, the AAJ convention in San Francisco features other prominent elected officials, including House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (speaking at a PAC fundraising event) and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, governor of Virginia. These people will shape any health care law that Congress enacts, and they’re speaking in front of thousands of lawyers with a pecuniary interest in the outcome. But, so far….next to nothing.
It’s a conspicuous oversight by the media and a gaping hole in the national debate over whether to restructure the U.S. health care system.
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