Tad DeHaven

Thanks to a massive lobbying campaign from the dialysis industry ($8 million since 2009), Congress is now considering giving back the taxpayer-financed windfall. According to theTimes, “more than 100 of the same members of Congress who voted in January to impose the cut are now trying to push the Obama administration to reverse it or water it down.” Leading the charge to reverse the cuts are “lawmakers who are among the top recipients of campaign contributions from the industry, including Representatives John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, and John M. Shimkus, an Illinois Republican, as well as Mr. [Ben] Lujan [D-NM].”

And, surprise, the effort is bipartisan:

The full-court press has energized Congress. A broad coalition, including conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats and many in between, has joined the industry appeal, with 205 members of the House alone signing a letter this month to the Medicare administrator asking her to reconsider the proposed cut. Half of those signers voted in favor of the cut in January.

In sum, Republicans are teaming up with Democrats to keep the taxpayer dollars flowing to a special interest.

It’s just another day in the Beltway

Tad DeHaven

Tad DeHaven is a budget analyst at the Cato Institute. Previously he was a deputy director of the Indiana Office of Management and Budget. DeHaven also worked as a budget policy advisor to Senators Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Tom Coburn (R-OK).