Obama, health-care 'reform,' and industry

I haven't had a chance to write a column lately on health-care reform, but I wanted to point readers to two mainstream pieces that deal with the industry's role in the debate.

First, the New York Times had a news analysis Sunday titled “Medical Industry Grumbles, but It Stands to Gain.” The heart of the piece is this graph:

“All industries stand to gain from this legislation,” Steven D. Findlay, senior health policy analyst with Consumers Union in Washington, said in an interview. “They’re going to continue to fight their narrow issues and get the best that they can get. But all of them are aware they stand to gain significant new business and new revenue streams as more Americans get health coverage and money flows into the system for them.”

The Times points out, though, that employers will suffer.

The Finanancial Times also takes a hack at the subject, looking not at “who benefits?” but a slightly different question of “who supports it?” Another way of putting it: Who is on Obama's team here? The FT reports.

The first thing Barack Obama did late on Saturday night following the passage of the healthcare bill in the House of Representatives was to phone the heads of three industry lobby groups to thank them for their support. Not included on the list was the largest insurance lobby group, American Health Insurance Plans, which doggedly continues to oppose Democratic reform efforts.

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