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Posted at 1:15 PM ET, 08/20/2010

McDonnell's stacked health panel

By Peter Galuszka

Facing "Obamacare," Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has chosen 24 people to advise him on how to pursue such measures as reforming Medicaid, moving to electronic records and setting up an exchange so people can pick and choose among medical insurance plans that federal law will require them to purchase.

Since it's McDonnell, it should come as no shock that of the 24 members of the Virginia Health Reform Initiative Advisory Council, there is no one representing the poor, minorities, labor unions or Average Joes.

Most of the appointees are members of the managed care establishment, including health insurance firms, law firms, doctors' groups, investment companies, the CEO of MeadWestvaco (a major packaging firm) and the global medical director of ExxonMobil.

These may all be highly competent individuals but the lack of more grass-roots types is stunning. After all, Obamacare was passed in part to help the poor and newly unemployed who can't afford insurance and to end managed care's abuses such as denying coverage for "pre-existing" medical conditions.

One hopes that the council won't be more concerned about the health of the managed care establishment than that of average citizens.

Peter Galuszka blogs at Bacon's Rebellion. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Peter Galuszka  | August 20, 2010; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Va. Politics, Virginia, economy, health care  
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Comments

Does McDonnell still believe he has a national political future after Virgina?

Posted by: knjincvc | August 20, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Shrug. Creigh Deeds would also have stacked the panel, but only with HIS special interest groups. But he lost, so tough luck.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 20, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Health care (transformation) is one of the best issues this current administration has done thus far. With this change individuals will have the opportunity to seek professional and quality health care services. Who would want to return to the days of the horse and buggy, b/w tv sets, manual typewriters, pac man, you get the point? That's about how old the health care system was in the USA. Each day the news is filled with social tragedies in which lives are taken at the hands of known acquaintences and/or family members. Our society is stricken with the institutions of white collar crime permeating throughout this great nation and greed which tends to strike at the very fabric of our country. If you are looking for affordable health insurance check out http://bit.ly/9fDY7U . I hope everyone will soon recognize and use the resources made by this transformation to seek professional medical attention as the need arises rather than turning to illegal and criminal activities to resolve their issues.

Posted by: gaffney21 | August 21, 2010 3:13 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why Virginia, after two incredible Democratic governors who put good government ahead of everything else, would choose a pair of Republicans who put ideology ahead of the well-being of the Commonwealth.

Posted by: krickey7 | August 23, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

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