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May 09, 2006

An AHP conspiracy theory

Kevin says ASAE's silence on Association Health Plans (AHPs) is curious.

Lots of important jockeying in the Senate this week on association health plans, with a possible floor vote scheduled on Thursday. It’s taken years to get this legislation even considered in the upper chamber. I find it curious that there’s no mention of the activity to be found on ASAE’s website.
Personally, I think it's more ominous than curious.

The AHP opposition is pretty active. Check out the American Diabetes Assn web page, for example, which happens to be ASAE President and CEO John Graham's former employer.

Here's a conspiracy theory (I'm not saying I believe it, but it's kinda fun to consider):

Because of his former ties to the American Diabetes Assn, an AHP opponent, is it possible that John Graham has mixed feelings about the AHP bill as currently worded and isn't pushing ASAE staff to get this thing passed? It's no secret several people had to basically wrest John away from the ADA -- he was really committed to them.

Compared to the splash ASAE made over congressional travel and campaign finance reform in the wake of the Abramoff scandal, ASAE is virtually MIA on this issue. This is unfortunate, because there's tremendous opportunity for associations if the AHP bill goes into law. Associations have far more to gain with AHPs than they stand (stood) to lose over congressional travel reform. So, like Kevin, I can't understand why ASAE is silent on this issue.

Maybe I've been watching too much 24. Freakin' Presdient Logan.

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2 comments:

CAE Kris said...

You should know that ASAE is officially in favor of AHP. They have said as much on their website. There is a statement (buried under many layers) in the Advocacy and Outreach section, April 27 issue of Inroads. In it, the state that they are part of a coalition of organizations pushing for the bill's passage. I find it curious, as well, that they have been very quiet about their participation in this coalition. Check out this link:

http://www.asaecenter.org/AdvocacyOutreach/InroadsDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=18178#Article2

I also find it interesting that ASAE finds themselves in the middle of this. Many specialty health organizations hate this bill because it doesn't include every disease and special interest that they represent. While others, whose members are small business owners who cannot afford health insurance - are for it.

A posting was made late last week on the ASAE's Executive Section Listserve about this bill. The discussion was heated and digressed very quickly with shots being taken on both sides. I've never seen this listserve get so personal and nasty so quickly.

It will be interesting to watch this vote and ASAE's take on the outcome ...

Ben said...

Kris, thanks for your comment. Yes, I'm aware that ASAE officially supports the AHP bill. I missed that ExecSec discussion, I'll have to search for it.