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The Power of Good Lobbying - Hospitals Bypass Cuts Through Lobbying


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3/18/2013
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The Power of Good Lobbying - Hospitals Bypass Cuts Through Lobbying

Budget cuts are always a concern for anyone who relies on government funding. The hospital industry took some serious hits as part of the fiscal cliff deal, but it managed to avoid some of the biggest cuts that have been looming over it for years. How did hospitals manage to bypass cuts to outpatient payments, graduate medical education and “bad debt” payments? Good lobbying. This is a great example of the kinds of things you can accomplish by working with an experienced lobby firm.

The Industry Holds Power with Lawmakers

As recently as December, health industry insiders were expecting any serious fiscal cliff plan to include a series of substantial cuts that would hamper the industry. Each of these cuts had been blessed by MedPAC or Obama administration plans, making them serious candidates to make it into final legislation. But when the fiscal cliff plan began circulating on New Year’s Day, those cuts weren’t anywhere in the bill. In fact, this is the second time that these cuts have been at the top of a list of hospital savings options.

The key? These cuts disappeared due to aggressive lobbying from hospital groups, including the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals and the Association of American Medical Colleges, among others.

The fact that these cuts vanished from the final fiscal cliff deal is due, in part, to the strength that the hospital sector has in Washington. Every member of Congress has at least one hospital in their district, giving these organizations powerful lobbying muscle. In addition to providing much-needed health care, hospitals are also some of the largest employers in these districts, giving them leverage on multiple fronts.

Hospitals sent their messages to Congress in a few different ways. Several hospitals in states with prominent lawmakers have sent notes to their representatives, explaining why cuts would be a disaster if Congress passed them. In other areas, hospitals and integrated health systems banned together to send a similar message. One lobbyist was quoted as saying: “They’re just pretty powerful. Outside of the [Washington trade associations], individual hospitals talk to their members and say, ‘This is a BFD. This will hurt us.’ They’re winning the local grass roots.”

In short, effective lobbying saved these hospitals from drastic cuts. What could lobbying do for your business or organization?

If you've been thinking about talking to a Texas Lobby Firm about addressing state level policy decisions or proposals affecting your business then consider calling The Posey Law Firm, P.C. to discuss your concerns. 1-888-269-1962.



Category: Legislative and Governmental Affairs


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