Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

This Is A Switch. Usually, Lobbying Groups Influence Politicians, Not The Other Way Around

The House of Representatives have ginned up their own health plan reform to counter the five in Congress, the one Harry Reid is piecing together, and the counterproposal the R's have cooked up.  Nancy Pelosi has created a plan 1990 (!) pages long and full of bullshit (it has a provision that vending machines have to allow you to view nutritional information on the items inside they have to put up a sign explaining the nutritional information (page 1213), and menu labeling, according to Nation's Restaurant News, "the billl outlines general nutrient-labeling requirements for restaurants and retail establishments that are part of a chain with 20 or more outlets.  Those restaurants affected would be required to prominently post calorie counts for standard items on menus and menu boards as well as calories per serving for each item on a buffet, salad bar, cafeteria line or self-service display.  Restaurateurs also would be required to post a brief statement regarding daily caloric intake “designed to enable the public to understand, in the context of a total daily diet, the significance of the nutrition information that is provided.”  Government intrusion?!?  What government intrusion?!?) and they are trying to get the votes to pass it.  Problem:  House members are elected every two years, next year is election time, and everybody's shitting bricks about the midterms yesterday.  So, to get this past the House, they need to reassure Reps that, if they vote for it, they won't be thrown out on their asses.

How do you accomplish that?

By convincing the voters not to throw them out for voting on this.

The AARP, the biggest lobbying group in America, which initially opposed ObamaCare but was starting to obviously slide towards it, just jumped.  The announcement isn't official, but they are expected to put their stamp of approval on Pelosi's plan any day now.  Which means they will also be urging people to vote for certain Reps who endorse the bill.  Interesting they aren't doing anything like this for any of the Senate bills....

This must have cost an incredible political deal to make this happen.  Usually, the AARP pulls the strings of Congress, not the other way around.  It might be buried somewhere in the nearly 2K pages, or it might be an off-the-record deal.  Pelosi is not only desperate to remake America in her image, but I wonder if she is in political trouble.  She managed to shrug off a lot of scandals in her day that made her look bad.  Railroading this through, though, seems to be having far more impact on her approval rating than the scandals did.  I wonder if this is to protect herself.  The bill appeals to the Intelligentia that she waves the flag for, and retirees, and maybe it's enough to keep her from getting voted out regardless of how the bill does.  It is too close to call at the moment, and no one is willing to go on record endorsing or opposing this other than the usual extremists of both parties.

The question is:  will anyone buy what the AARP is selling?
Tags: news, politics
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