McDonnell's stacked health panel
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.
| August 20, 2010; 1:15 PM ET
Categories: HotTopic, Local blog network, Va. Politics, Virginia, economy, health care
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