Foundations in California Seen Taking More Active Role in Health Policy
Not-for-profit foundations and think tanks in California are taking more active roles in health care policymaking efforts, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In the past, these not-for-profits have stayed away from politics, the Times reports. The IRS bans these groups from lobbying or participating in partisan politics.
Some of the largest health care-focused foundations in California have opened offices in Sacramento and staffed them with seasoned former advisers of lawmakers, according to the Times.
For example, in November 2008, the California Endowment, a Los Angeles-based foundation announced that it was hiring Daniel Zingale, a former senior adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).
In addition, the California HealthCare Foundation has opened an office in Sacramento and hired a former legislative health expert to ensure that CHCF's research agenda is relevant to issues under consideration in the legislature.Â
Sally Pipes -- president of the Pacific Research Institute, a San Francisco-based think tank that favors market approaches to health care -- said foundations face the risk of undermining their credibility when they participate in policy discussions.
Pipes said that she thinks "they will be really tarred as lobbyists."
According to the Times, foundation leaders stress that they have no interest in direct lobbying and that they promote ideas that are based on evidence as opposed to ideology (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 1/5).CHCF publishes California Healthline. This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.