Here is our latest “How To of the Day” submission to WikiHow:
If you are a wealthy hospital executive or lobbyist and want to do something extra special for your members, like protect them when they kill or injure children, things may be looking up for you in states where the GOP has taken over. But what about a State like New York, where the legislature (or at least part of it) actually cares about protecting the rights of the sick and injured and ensuring patient safety? This is not so easy! But get ready, cause there’s a solution:
1. Tell your Governor that you want to help him or her reform Medicaid. Then, get a bunch of your members onto a Task Force that he creates. It helps a great deal if one of those in your group is best friends with the Governor. It helps even more if you keep consumer or patient safety advocates off the Task Force, and anyone who thinks it might be important to protect the judicial branch of government from your influence peddling and interference.
2. Once on the Task Force, come up with proposals (especially things that you've been unable to do legislatively ) to drastically limits patients’ legal rights, including brutal “caps” on non-economic damages and a birth injury fund that limits the rights of brain-damaged babies and their families. You can do this even though such proposals would increase Medicaid costs, and were shot down during earlier Task Force’s. But unlike your new Task Force, those earlier ones may have had members with expertise on civil justice issues or disagreed with your desire to provide a financial windfall for your members.
3. Keep the details of your proposals under strict lock and key so no one, like your opponents but especially the legislature, ever sees them. This will keep any outside experts from vetting your proposals, yet will permit you to “score” them privately using fabricated data, allowing you to come up with an absurdly-high “savings” number that everyone knows is ridiculous.
4. Make sure you are clear with the Governor that your support for his other Medicaid cuts is contingent upon his agreeing to wipe out patients' legal rights, and that it must be done through the budget process so it’s impossible for the legislature to pull these proposal out of the larger budget package.
5. Have your Task Force vote out these proposals at its first public meeting ever, but where no public comment is allowed, no substantive discussions take place, and no notice given that a vote would even happen.
6. You’re almost done. Unless people start to wake up, and fast.