The Chicago brain injury attorneys at our firm are intimately aware of the way that political decisions can impact rights for those injured by the negligence of others. That includes Illinois brain injury victims, who can suffer the injury in many ways, from medical negligence and automobile accidents to slip and falls. Our attorneys advocate on behalf of all policies which protect the right from injury victims–often falling under the seemingly innocuous phrase “tort reform.”
Money in Political Campaigns
Unfortunately, political campaigns (both general advocacy efforts and individual candidate campaigns) are increasingly influenced by money. That role of money in these efforts increased exponentially following the Supreme Court ruling Citizens United. The decision struck down federal laws which placed limits on the amount of money that individuals and businesses could give to these campaigns.
Our brain injury attorneys appreciate that the logical purpose of the finance law was to prevent individual business or corporate entities with seemingly unlimited resources from hijacking the process and unfairly influencing the outcome of these vital decisions.
Yet, following Citizen United, the fears about unlimited corporate influence are coming to fruition.
Insurance Companies & Healthcare Laws
For example, Truth Out reported on new revelations regarding the health insurance’s secret funneling of over a hundred million dollars into various campaigns to prevent healthcare reform laws. It is a sober reminder of the industry’s skewed interests which place profits over patient safety and well-being.
According to the story, the industry used organizations known as 501(c) to inject money into the campaigns while making it difficult for outsiders to track where the funds were coming from. In addition, staggering sums were given to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to run ads in various campaigns, all with the focus of defeating efforts to pass laws that would expand health care options to more Americans.
Most of the money went to ads for individual candidates–mostly Republicans–who were opposed to all manner of health reform. (Incidentally that position usually is combined with support of tort reform laws).
By filtering the money to others, the insurance industry is attempting to hide the ulterior motives being attached to the advertisements on which the money is spent. For example, most American assume that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents small business owners. Residents likely take that into consideration when watchings ads from the group. Yet, what viewers don’t know is that the ads were actually paid for by healthcare insurance companies with a very obvious incentive to keep things the way they are to maintain their profit margins.
Making matters worse, the advertisements themselves are unbelievably misleading. It is difficult to imagine any scenario in which those who view the ad receive honest information about a candidate’s position or perspective. For example, one of the ads portrayed Washington Senator stepping on the face of a child. The citation used to explain why Senator Murray was abusing a child was because of her vote for the health insurance law to expand coverage to more residents. The disconnect between the portrayal and reality is truly astounding. And much of it is being directed by large health insurance companies.
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