Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sometimes You Have To Get Yourself A Little Dirty

I got this email from the American Society of Anesthesiologists Political Action Committee (ASAPAC).  Full disclosure: I am a proud contributor to ASAPAC, donating every year for the last several years. Besides highlighting the PAC's accomplishments, the email gave step by step instructions on how to influence your congressman.  The following is quoted directly from the ASAPAC email that I received.

One of the easiest ways to get involved with the political process locally is to attend a political fundraiser, and ASAPAC is here to make it even easier for you!

ASAPAc LogoStep 1: Make sure you are on your lawmakers' campaign mailing lists so you know when and where these events will be taking place. They are a great opportunity to spend time with your representatives in Washington, advocating for anesthesiology and our patients.

Step 2: Please contact the Washington office to see if support is available for your Representative or Senator.

Step 3: If support is available, we'll have a check mailed directly to you to deliver at the event.

There you have it, how to buy congressional attention in three easy steps.  You don't even have to give any money out of your own pocket; the PAC will mail you a check to give to the congressman at his neighborhood meeting.  How much simpler can it get?  

Yes the whole process sounds sleazy, but that is the way the game is played.  Perhaps if the entire medical community had been as generous to their congressional delegates as the lawyers and insurance companies we wouldn't be in the current mess we are facing with ObamaCare.  For instance, of all the ASA members in California, less than 10% donated to ASAPAC, which is quite pitiful.  Let's not kid ourselves, money talks in Washington.  We can't strut around naively hoping that the government will take care of us because we are on some noble mission to help the poor and infirmed.  The government will help those that feed its immense bureaucracy and screw everybody else.  So if you haven't already, take a deep breath, hold your nose, and with your other hand write a check to ASAPAC or your medical society's PAC.  Then take a shower to wash that slimy feeling from your conscious. 

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