Montana state Rep. Kathy Kelker (D) and Sen. Jen Gross (D) acknowledged that editorials they published separately addressing the dangers of Medicare-for-all and other government involvement in health care were largely drafted by lobbyists, according to The Washington Post.
John MacDonald, a lobbyist and consultant in Montana, made extensive revisions for the lawmakers, and contacted them on behalf of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, a multimillion-dollar industry group funded by hospitals, private insurers, drug companies, and other private healthcare firms.
An aide to Ohio state Sen. Steve Huffman (R) also confirmed that his op-ed criticizing Medicare-for-all was written with the help of Kathleen DeLand, an Ohio-based lobbyist.
The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future has spent over $1 million on television advertisements since August and has recently expanded its operations to the state level, targeting primary and battleground states, according to Politico.
“These secret emails blow open what I saw firsthand and revealed as a health insurance whistleblower: These companies and their lobbyists will stoop to whatever it takes, no matter how grotesque, to deny people the lifesaving coverage they need,” Wendell Potter, a former health insurance executive who is now president of Business for Medicare for All, said. “This is just the latest reason we need to reform this broken system where greedy corporations determine who can get medical treatment in America.”
“If I could do it over again, I would have spent more time on it and put it in my own words. But I was up against time constraints...If the angle is that a consultant wrote half of the op-ed that I had published in the Billings Gazette in July, so be it. I’m not embarrassed by that at all,” Sen. Gross said in a text message.