Health industry lobbyists are posing as "ordinary citizens who don't want Medicare for All"

Here are some "ordinary citizens" who have recently been featured in the press as people who are completely OK with the state of American healthcare and totally opposed to Medicare for All or any other project to reform America's worst-in-the-world health care system: "Mustafa Tameez, businessman, Texas" (Tameez is managing director at Texas-based Outreach Strategists, a public affairs and lobbying firm that reps Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, University of Texas Physicians, and St. Luke's Hospital).

Another health care status quo enthusiast is "Jim Corson, Montana" (Corson was a 14 year veteran of the staff of Sen Max Baucus, the former Senate Finance Committee who killed ACA's public option).

"James Rang" is just an ordinary dude who wrote a letter to the editor opposing single-payer because it was bad for the "free market" (Rang is vice president in the employee benefits department at the Friedman Group — that is, he's a health-insurance salesman).

Florida businessman "Carlos Carbonell" is one of the "influential leaders" cited in the Orlando Sentinel's piece on opposition to health-care reform (Carbonell is a Public Affairs Advisor" at Converge Strategies, a lobbyist that reps the health care industry).

"Jack A. Roy," a proud son of Massachussetts, and he "[does] understand how this could work" (Roy is the former head of the Haverhill City Republican Committee.).

In Des Moines, "Mark Havlicek" is a businessman who is adamant in his opposition to single-payer (Havlicek is a "political consultant" and "committed Republican activist" who was on Jeb Bush's Iowa leadership team).

These examples were compiled by Splinter's Libby Watson, who learned about them through press-releases from the lobbying group Partnership for America's Health Care Future (PAHCF), whose members include Pharma, the pharmaceutical industry lobby group.

In advocacy campaigns, there are grassroots—genuine, broad-based political action by real people not employed in politics day to day—and grasstops, the practice of cultivating local leaders to influence their communities. And then there's astroturfing, the practice of trying to create a false impression of broad public support or outrage on an issue when there isn't any. Big, well-funded advocacy firms in DC spend quite a lot of their time doing these sorts of things.

This is the advantage of "grassroots" activities: It lends a legitimacy that, say, quotes from the people who directly stand to profit from the continuation of a private healthcare system can never achieve. It is more convincing to hear arguments about what would happen to real people from those real people than just another politics wanker in DC. But when those voices are few and far between, sometimes you have to get a little bit creative about who counts as a regular American.

Look at These Absolutely Ordinary Americans Who Hate Medicare for All [Libby Watson/Splinter]

(via Naked Capitalism)