Under The Influence, Tarbell's Weekly Newsletter

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This Week In Tarbell

“Keep what’s working” has been the key rallying cry that keeps Democrats from embracing Medicare For All, implying that some Americans still love their private insurance and would not want to end it with M4A. However, health policy expert Dr. James G. Kahn argues that Americans wouldn’t miss their private insurance, and would be ready to ditch it for a better universal coverage option.

Click Here To Read Dr. Kahn’s Analysis – “Medicare For All And Private Insurance: It Is Like Mixing Oil And Water” – On Tarbell.org

 

Notable Investigations and Solutions

Pharmaceutical companies boosted their spending while the White House was leaning into drug pricing, and Bloomberg notes that the spree occurred as the efforts to infuse transparency in drug pricing died down.

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Facebook’s settlement with the FTC was called everything from a “slap on the wrist” to a “joke” from those who wanted Big Tech reform. And Facebook certainly profited in the end. But for the FTC, it was a choice between letting them off easy or litigating forever, with little reward.

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One lucky private investor who accompanies Donald Trump Jr on hunting trips has received exclusive access that even he couldn’t afford without that connection — White House discussions on China and tech with top officials. And as a good “bro” does, he used that access to help his friend and hedge fund manager Kyle Bass pitch opinions that would lift his $143 million worth of investments.

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To lobby Vice President Mike Pence’s office and other corners of the administration on cyber security and tech, Amazon Web Services made a strategic hire: Trump 2020 campaign bundler and lobbyist Jeff Miller.

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Health industry contributors seem to be uniting behind the House Democrats who supported Obamacare but would not sign onto Medicare For All:  incumbent representatives who would not sign M4A received nearly $150,000 more on average from the industry than those who did not.

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The top earning lobbying shop on K Street — Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld — faces a powerful challenger, and Bloomberg Government notes that lobbying firms throughout the industry are growing aggressively.

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A former Trump adviser and business partner was convicted for lobbying on behalf of Turkey.

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Without any external approval, officials for the federal Election Assistance Commission have allowed their top commissioners free-flow funding for their commutes to work from states outside the Washington, D.C. office, and congressional overseers are not pleased to learn this.

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Spotlight On Local Reporting

Amid the US-China trade war, Huawei is investing in programming for a Las Vegas Public Radio station at Nevada’s gambling hub, with plans to bring American public radio to a Chinese city too.

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President Trump’s campaign stop in West Virginia was supported by none other than coal magnate Bob Murray, who crafted a “wish list” of loosening environmental regulations.

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The battle for Iowa’s Senate seat is right now hinging on health care:  GOP incumbent Joni Ernst and Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield are attacking each other with claims that they take contributions from Big Pharma.

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Feds are investigating a former political operative for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who received thousands in payouts after he was dismissed for sexually harassing a campaign worker.

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After investing $30 million in a failed attempt to legalize medicinal marijuana, Ohio’s coalition of hemp growers hired a powerful lobbyist and simultaneously made quick progress on a bill to legals CBD oil sales.

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