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Just as Congress moves into high gear on health overhaul legislation, insurance trade groups with a big stake in the outcome are packing the halls of the Capitol with members making the case against a public plan to their home-state politicians. Wednesday saw the arrival on the Hill of more than 1,000 members of four associations whose members are deeply involved in the private health insurance process: the Association of Health Insurance Advisors, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and the National Association of Health Underwriters.
They are agents, brokers, consultants, financial planners and employee benefits experts from 49 states, and often influential people in their communities who may have longtime ties with members of Congress.
Lobbyists for the groups say that in normal times, the four associations — which together represent some 500,000 members — don’t necessarily agree on policy. But with the very real prospect of a government-sponsored insurance plan as a key part of bills in both the House and Senate, possibly threatening members’ jobs and business models, it was time to mobilize en masse.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Pairs of moose-dung earrings sold each year at Grizzly’s Gifts in Anchorage, Alaska:
An Alaskan brown bear was reported to have scratched its face with barnacled rocks, making it the first bear seen using tools since 1972, when a Svalbardian polar bear is alleged to have clubbed a seal in the head with a block of ice.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”