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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Alabama Lobbyist v. Autistic Kids

The Politics of Autism includes an extensive discussion of insurance.

At The Alabama Media Group, John Archibald writes about an Alabama hearing on an insurance mandate:
Billy Canary, head of the Business Council of Alabama - who somehow serves as both the mouthpiece and rump roast of the Big Mules - quoted scripture about children as he railed against the bill to help children.
"Children are a gift from God," the verse goes.
It's like Darth Vader himself giving a lecture about the dangers of the Dark Side.
But the lesson - the primer on process and priorities - came when debate tumbled into a hall and Patterson and Canary exchanged words with uncharacteristic honesty.'s Trisha Powell Crain was there to take it down. Thank goodness.
Canary began with what can only be described as the lobbyist equivalent of "do you know who I am."
Why, he asked, did Patterson dare file the bill without coming to him first?
Holy cow. Why not just make Patterson and every other legislator kiss his ring? We know Canary's a big dog. He -a lobbyist with a paid point of view -- used to have weekly meetings with House Speaker Mike Hubbard to set the Statehouse agenda. That was before Hubbard was convicted of corruption - including charges of soliciting things of value from people connected to the BCA.
But Patterson - bless his heart -- called Canary's BS. Lobbyists typically come to the people who are elected to office, and not the other way around, he said.
That's how it's supposed to work, anyway.
Patterson has no personal reason to help autistic children. It's not a family matter and he's not a bleeding heart. He's sure not a guy out to get the insurance companies. He was asked to sponsor the bill and he never thought he'd do it.