Shorter Phil Bredesen: You Don’t Matter
February 10, 2009, 9:45 am
Filed under: Ian

Former HMO Executive Phil Bredesen, whose principal accomplishment is stripping 170,000 people of their health care while he served as Governor of Tenneessee, has been floated as a possible HHS Secretary.  About five minutes after this trial balloon was launched, a veritable militia of organizations representing patients, consumers and seniors started trying to shoot it down.

Now, Bredesen is telling the Wall Street Journal that they don’t matter:

Health-care advocates are actively campaigning to persuade Barack Obama to cross a leading candidate off his short-list for secretary of Health and Human Services: Tennessee Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen. And, in an unusual move for an official under consideration, the governor is fighting back publicly.

“Anybody who’s got some real scars and experience is going to have their detractors,” the governor said Monday in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “People at the White House are smart enough to be able to assess that.” And he took a swipe at his opponents, saying that “advocacy groups don’t matter nearly as much as the pharmaceutical groups, the hospitals, the doctors’ groups. There’s a lot of very powerful interest groups that will play in this thing.”

In other words, in Phil Bredesen’s America, ordinary patients don’t matter because they don’t have a powerful lobby.  Only big pharmaceutical companies and hospitals should be at the table when devising national health care policy.

Sorry, Phil, that ship sailed when George W. Bush left office.


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