In particular, the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future Action (PAHCF Action), the state arm of the dark money group that has opposed Medicare for All and a public option at the federal level, has spent millions of dollars on TV ads and mailers in Colorado, Connecticut, and other states where public option bills are being considered. The group has spent more on lobbying in Colorado in 2021 than any other organization since 2011, and possibly ever.
As a result, the actual public option component of the Colorado legislation was removed in an agreement made with the hospital industry. What’s left of the bill is a requirement that private insurers offer so-called “standardized” health insurance plans and cut premiums on those plans by 18 percent over three years. Despite the overhaul, the industry has continued to oppose the plan.
The dark money group isn’t alone 149 individual lobbyists in the state are registered as opposing the legislation. These lobbyists represent AHIP, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group, and Kaiser Permanente, among other corporate interests. Americans for Prosperity, the Koch network’s political advocacy arm, has 16 lobbyists alone registered in opposition of the bill.
These influence peddlers have already had significant success. Last year, lobbyists helped kill a public option proposal in the state. This year, legislators proposed a scaled-down version of the public option plan, one that would allow the state to set up a public option in two years if private insurers failed to set up standardized plans that meet certain cost criteria.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction