Democrats Warn Health Care Lobbyists Not to Talk to Republicans

You vill take zees health care reform und you vill like it!

Via Roll Call:

Top aides to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) called a last-minute, pre-emptive strike on Wednesday with a group of prominent Democratic lobbyists, warning them to advise their clients not to attend a meeting with Senate Republicans set for Thursday.

Russell Sullivan, the top staffer on Finance, and Jon Selib, Baucus’ chief of staff, met with a bloc of more than 20 contract lobbyists, including several former Baucus aides.

“They said, ‘Republicans are having this meeting and you need to let all of your clients know if they have someone there, that will be viewed as a hostile act,’” said a Democratic lobbyist who attended the meeting.

A ‘hostile act’?!? For exercising freedom of speech?

“Going to the Republican meeting will say, ‘I’m interested in working with Republicans to stop health care reform,’” the lobbyist added.

You’re goddamned right we want it stopped. ObamaCare (i.e. socialized medicine) would be disastrous on a phenomenal scale.  

Republican leaders have been meeting with health care stakeholders for months, with those sessions occurring “more frequently than once a month,” according to a senior Senate GOP aide.

The stated purpose of Thursday’s meeting, organized by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), is to discuss proposals for how to pay for health care reform.

But the underlying motivation for the get-together is to encourage health care lobbyists and stakeholders concerned about the Democrats’ health care reform plans to speak out publicly.

“They need to speak up,” one Senate Republican leadership aide said. “They need to help us help them.”

Thune said Democrats are using threats and intimidation to keep unhappy stakeholders silent.

Jack-booted strong-arm tactics is the trend in the new administration. They threaten banks, corporations, and now health care shareholders. Cooperate or else.

One longtime health care lobbyist agreed that the GOP frustration is spilling out of the Capitol and onto K Street.

“It is notable that Republicans are really finding their voice, and their level of frustration is building with the stakeholders’ inability or refusal to speak out,” this lobbyist said. “They’re getting frustrated. Republicans are doing it themselves.”

It’s about time they lit a fire under their asses and started raising hell over Obama’s train wrecks.

……After months of holding their tongues while inclusive, bipartisan negotiations continued in the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees, the business community has now considered speaking out, given their displeasure with the HELP panel’s reform bill, which was made public on Tuesday.

But with Baucus’ office still warning dissenters that anyone who makes their opposition public could be permanently excluded from future negotiations, the groups representing businesses, health care providers, hospitals and similar stakeholders are still wavering on whether to voice their concerns publicly.

So in other words, if they don’t go along with Der Fuhrer’s program, they will be eliminated from the process.

The lineup of lobbyists who attended the Wednesday session included a cast of Democratic insiders similar to that at previous meetings convened by Baucus’ staff. The participants included: Jeff Forbes, a former Baucus chief of staff who lobbies at Cauthen Forbes & Williams; Jonathon Jones, a partner with Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart; Tarplin Strategies’ Rich Tarplin, an assistant secretary at Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration; another former Baucus top aide, David Castagnetti, of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti and OB-C Group founder Larry O’Brien.

……One lobbyist who attended the Wednesday meeting with Baucus’ staff said that the message was more bipartisan. “They said they anticipate having a bipartisan bill and that the process is going well with Republicans,” this lobbyist said. But, the lobbyist added, Baucus’ team did warn, “If your clients attack the process or the product, it’s going to be hard to work with you.”

As for Baucus, he told reporters earlier this week that he was not aware of health care stakeholders being threatened by his staff to play ball with the Finance Committee-led negotiations or risk being blackballed from the process.

Baucus is a bald-faced liar. So much for ‘transparency’.

The Democrats are determined to change the health care system into a Canadian version; one that has proven to be a real catastrophe. Just think, you could have 6 months to live, and be on a waiting list for 6 months just to see a doctor.

“Take a number”.

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