POLITICS

Sunlight Foundation's Health Summit Coverage Reveals Special Interest Connections

04/28/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

One of the things that I've endeavored to explain over the course of the health care reform debate is that the key driver of policy isn't political philosophy and it isn't public opinion and it isn't pressure from grassroots activists.

Rather, policy is constructed according to the desires of powerful corporate interests that fund the campaigns of legislators. And when the book on health care reform debate is written after it does or does not pass, you can literally tear out every chapter that does not pertain to the influence of the health care sector on the debate and remain in possession of the only important part of the story.

To my mind, the extent to which the health care reform debate has been shaped by these powerful corporate interests is a story that the media is either unwilling or unable to cover. But one organization that does a fine job at elucidating the connections between lawmakers and money is the Sunlight Foundation, and yesterday, anyone following the summit on their website was treated to a rather innovative "Contextual Content and Data Stream" that presented a side-by-side take on the extent to which the various players in the summit have been bought and paid for.

This type of disclosure can be hard to pull off, but Sunlight's proven that it's not impossible.

[hat tip: Anthony De Rosa, who's got insightful and interesting stuff daily, so bookmark away!]

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