by Jordan Roberts
Director of Government Affairs, John Locke Foundation
Have you ever wondered why, despite glaring problems in our health care system, nothing ever really changes? Despite astronomically high prices for prescription drugs, unaffordable insurance, surprise bills, massive hospital consolidation, no members of Congress can do anything.
The answer is simple: health care special interests like the status quo. The money is there to be made, and these companies will spend big money to ensure their piece of the pie is protected. For example, consider the amount of money these special interests spend on lobbying. Axios reported that in just the second quarter of this year there was big money spent:
This phenomenon always reminds of the case of New Jersey Democratic Senator, Bob Menendez, and his cozy relationship with Dr. Melgen. While Dr. Melgen was under investigation for Medicare fraud, Senator Menendez ensured he still received payments from the federal government and tried to quash the inquiry.
As long as the money-making incentive is there, special interests will continue to lobby Congress to keep the status quo in place.