Consumer Power Report #53
Consumer Power Report
# 53 -- October 19, 2006
In this issue
-- Point - Counterpoint
-- Consumer Advocacy in the States
-- USA Today/ABC/KFF Survey
-- Diamond/Goldman Sachs Symposium
TO: Greg Scandlen,
I spoke to a meeting of the Greater Washington (DC) Association of Health Underwriters
yesterday. I presented with our good friend, radio host and CHCC member, Sharon Alt.
Sharon is a broker in Texas who is a one-woman dynamo. If you haven’t caught her show,
you can listen to it at http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=8du9izbab.0.xdr6izbab.
zoskxnbab.1&ts=S0215&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.health.voiceamerica.com It’s called “The
Before our presentation there were brief talks by two politicians, state Senator Rob Garagiola
(D) who is running for re-election, and Lt. Governor Michael Steele (R), who is running for the
United States Senate. As you know, Maryland is a very blue state, but it is also a heavily
African American state (30% of the population), and Steele is the first and only African
American ever elected to state-wide office here. He is also charming, articulate and self-
deprecating. He has a real shot at being elected.
The interesting thing about their presentations was how much they agreed on health care.
Sen. Garagiola said that the employer-based system is collapsing and the alternatives will be
single payer on one hand, or consumer driven health on the other. He is rooting for consumer
driven. Mr. Steele agreed and went on to give a talk that I might have written for him. He
said something like, “If you want to get your health care from the Department of Motor
Vehicles, then vote for Single Payer.”
That suggests the possibility of a real bi-partisan consensus in the coming years, especially
after the coming elections. Whether the Republicans hold on to control of Congress or lose
control, the reality will be that Congress will be even more evenly split down the middle than