Cortez, Zenei

Zenei Cortez, RN is co-president of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, one of the nation’s premiere nurses’ organizations and health care unions.

True Health Care Reform Requires Campaign Finance Reform

By Zenei Cortez
California Nurses Association

One important lesson we can learn from the year long debate on healthcare reform is that big special interest money is still corrupting our political process and our democracy.

Lost amid the clamor over public option and cost was all the money flying around behind the scenes. Over the first nine months of this year, the nation's top 13 private health insurers and their trade group, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) spent nearly $23  million  in federal lobbying to tilt reform in their direction. 

Following passage of the House bill, the same analysts for the Public Campaign Action found that House members voting against the bill received, on average, 24 percent more in campaign money than those who voted for it.