Thursday, October 14, 2021

Big Government's Love Affair with Big Insurance - Even in Calunicornia

From Angela Hart and Samantha Young writing at Kaiser Health News
The coziness of the industry’s relationship with Newsom burst into public view in late 2020 when he was photographed dining at the ritzy French Laundry restaurant with Dustin Corcoran and Janus Norman, the CEO and top lobbyist, respectively, of the state doctors’ lobby, the California Medical Association.

“There is no possible way we could have come out of this covid crisis where the health care industry was given so much power without influence coming along with that,” said Carmen Balber, executive director of the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog.

Newsom did not respond to questions about the industry’s influence, but spokesperson Alex Stack said his proposal to regulate health care spending “is a priority for this administration, and we look forward to continuing to work on this issue to get it done.”

Doctors and Blue Shield have given Newsom millions of dollars to support his political career over many years, including a $20 million donation in September 2020 from Blue Shield for his
homelessness initiatives.

The recall effort earlier this year only solidified Newsom’s relationship with health care executives. Industry groups wrote checks to the California Democratic Party, which fought to keep Newsom in office. It received $1 million each from Blue Shield and the hospital lobby and $875,000 from the doctors’ lobby, according to state campaign finance records.