Though the final bill is still being hammered out, health reform appears to have given the insurance industry most of its wishes. Everyone will be required to buy insurance, there won’t be any limits on premiums, and any public option will likely be weak. They pulled off these anticipated victories after a long and sophisticated lobbying campaign headed by one of Washington’s savviest operators, Karen Ignagni, the LA Times reports.
Ignani convinced the industry that reform was inevitable, and that it could benefit from government-enforced universal coverage. That aligned their interests with Democrats enough to earn the unpopular industry a spot at the negotiating table and frequent audiences on Capitol Hill. They also used their usual tactics, releasing a barrage of studies opposing policies they didn’t like, and pouring campaign contributions into the coffers of conservative Democrats like Max Baucus, Ben Nelson, and Evan Bayh.