The following post is a reprint of remarks made by Robin Strongin, CEO of Amplify Public Affairs, at Innovative Health Advocacy: Strategies to Break Through the Post-Election Noise, a breakfast briefing Amplify organized and co-sponsored with The Hill, and Care 2.
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I am curious—most everyone here this morning has some connection to health care—by a show of hands, how many of you read blogs regularly for work?
How many of you post or comment on blogs?
I want to start with one of my favorite anecdotes—this is from a speech by Congressman Pete Stark, Democrat from California, who back in October 2002 addressed the Commonwealth Club with a talk on Prescription Drug Coverage and Medicare:
I can tell you in about 30 seconds everything I know about health care. Years and years ago, Jake Pickle, a congressman from Texas, reformed Social Security and decided we would have 6 subcommittees on the Ways & Means Committee. I was happily going along, and chaired what we called the Welfare Committee and wrote Aid to Families with Dependent Children laws and all kinds of exciting things like that. Then I rewrote the life insurance tax code. But we came into the Congress in 1984 to reorganize, and somebody wanted my committee, which was the teeny tax committee. After we went through choosing, all that was left was Health or Social Security. Social Security had just reformed—there was nothing to do there—so I said, I’ll take Health. I didn’t know anything about it. That was on a Tuesday, and by that Friday I knew about 4 or 5 organs in my body that I hadn’t known previously existed and each one had a lobbyist in Washington and they all offered me a transplant. And I began to think—What is health care?
Now, 6 years later, Cong Stark continues to shake things up in health care as Chair of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.
The Chairman, who knows more about all the organs in his body also knows a little something about how to give—and get—information from lobbyists and others.
I went to his website and there he was, on a giant you tube video—then just for good measure I checked The Hill’s Congress Blog—and the man is still talking about Medicare—only this time he is also blogging about it—the post I read was entitled “Senate Republicans Medicare Plan is Not the Answer” (June 12, 2008).
What’s going on here?