Republicans for health-care 'reform' typically are in the pay of the industry 

The top two items right now on Jake Tapper's political blog at ABC News are about Republicans backing Max Baucus's health-care bill. Tapper reports on Bush 41's HHS Secretary Louis Sullivan, who is backing the Baucus bill. Tapper also provides an update on Bob Dole's support for some sort of "reform" bill, and the political fallout.

Of Sullivan, Tapper writes, "What was interesting was that the former HHS Secretary doing the urging is a Republican." Dole, of course, has been showered with praise for being a "bipartisan" statesman.

But Tapper omits the fact that both of these Republicans are now in the pay of the health-care industry. Dole is a lobbyist at Alston & Bird, where he represents health-care clients, and Sullivan has worked as a consultant in the industry for years (see here and here) and his current project, "Symphony of Health Care Delivery," is "a nationwide tour sponsored by Pfizer," according to a press release from 2007.

This isn't to pick on Tapper, whom I admire. I'm pointing out the tendency of folks to point out the ulterior motives on the anti-"reform" side while omitting such motives on the pro-"reform" side.

And there are plenty of reasons for Big Health to want "reform." As a primer, check out my columns on the issue.

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Timothy P. Carney

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