Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Moore & Van Allen's anti-health care reform work

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Yesterday’s disclosure by the Associated Press regarding Charlotte law firm Moore & Van Allen and its behind-the-scenes work against health care reform was a stunner. There’s nothing illegal going on, but the law firm’s activities have a bad smell nonetheless. The story revealed that MVA is engaged in advocacy against a public option, and in favor of requiring Americans to buy health insurance. Although MVA wouldn’t identify the clients, it’s pretty obvious that a group of health insurance companies are paying the law firm to conduct anonymous campaigning for them. Note that MVA isn’t doing legal work here, but rather things such as enlisting trade groups to oppose government-run health coverage, or helping anti-reform advocates get on the radio or post opinions on conservative blogs.

One big problem with MVA’s activities is that the clients they’re working for are anonymous and are paying others to conduct their political action for them. As MVA spokesperson Matthew French told the AP, "They want to stay in the background and off the front page. They want the message to be the important thing." In other words, they’re trying to evade responsibility. Not to mention that in a democracy, issues should be openly discussed in debate that makes it clear who, or what corporate entity, is standing for what.

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