TOM CAMPBELL: Accuses GOP Peers of Delaying Vote for Campaign Money
U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell (R) is once again sparking controversy, this time alleging that "five to 10" of his GOP colleagues delayed a House vote on his physicians' collective bargaining measure so they could continue milking the bill's competing sides -- doctors and insurance companies -- for campaign funds. Campbell, who is running against incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) for her Senate seat, has been working on the measure for three years. Under his proposal, doctors would be protected from federal antitrust laws, allowing them to collectively bargain with insurers. Campbell said that "he has long had more than the 218 votes needed for passage" but faced a dead end because other House Republicans "wanted to delay a vote ... [so] they could get money from insurance and from medicine." But John Feehery, press secretary for House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), called Campbell's claims "fantasy." Feehery said, "The reason the vote was delayed [was] that a lot of members don't like the bill." He added, "It had quite a few co-sponsors who were telling us privately they don't like it." Campbell's backers worry that the allegations could hurt him in the race with Feinstein, as his "remarks reflect the sort of unconventional approach to issues and legislation that Feinstein can use to portray him as politically out of step" (Krikorian, Los Angeles Times, 6/8).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.