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The many extracts on this page are from copyright material. They are reproduced here for educational purposes and to stimulate public debate about the provision of health and aged care. I consider this to be "fair use" in the common interest. They should not be reproduced for commercial purposes. The material is selective and I have not included denials and explanations. I am not claiming that all of the allegations are true. The intention is to show the general thrust of corporate practices as well as the nature and extent of the allegations made.

Mariner and Politics

Despite its financial problems Mariner has been a major contributor to the political process both federally and in states like Florida. This page contains extracts referring to this activity.



Nursing homes seek fee limit
Sarasota Herald-Tribune March 21, 1999

The nursing home industry contributed $ 203,990 to legislative candidates and the state political parties, which support those candidates' campaigns.

The biggest chunk of that money - $ 77,750 - came from Beverly Enterprises Inc., the largest nursing home company in the state. Another nursing home operator, Mariner Health Care Inc., gave $ 55,340, while the Florida Health Care Association contributed $ 51,250, and others donated $ 19,650.

More than one-fourth of the industry's donations - $ 57,500 - went to the Republican Party of Florida, while $ 31,000 went to the Florida Democratic Party.


Barbour Lobbies for Medicare Money
AP Online April 20, 1999

When Republicans wanted to squeeze savings out of Medicare in 1995, party chairman Haley Barbour was a leading planner and pitchman. Now a lobbyist for the nursing home industry, Barbour wants to boost Medicare spending, saying it is perilously low.
''The survival of our business is at stake,'' said Kirill Goncharenko, spokesman for Mariner Post-Acute Network, one of the biggest nursing home companies. He says Barbour ''knows how to handle difficult and complex issues in Washington.''

Health Line May 20, 1999

In an interesting twist, former Republican National Committee chair turned high-profile lobbyist Haley Barbour now "pleads with Congress for relief" from the Medicare reimbursement provisions of the Balanced Budget Act "he helped write," the New York Times reports.
But last month, he was retained by several nursing home companies -- including Sun Healthcare Group, Vencor Inc., the Mariner Post-Acute Network, Beverly Enterprises, HCR Manor Care Genesis Health Ventures and Extendicare Inc. - to push for greater reimbursements from the federal government. Downplaying any contradiction, he said the cuts had been much

WASHINGTON AT WORK; Insider Bemoans What He Wished For
The New York Times May 20, 1999
(Note:- see report above)

Legal Times May 24, 1999

The nursing home industry has launched a major lobbying campaign to try to regain some of the Medicare dollars it lost as a result of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
A coalition of 10 of the nation's biggest nursing home companies has brought on some top influence brokers to help them navigate this tricky terrain. Ironically, the leader of the lobbying effort is Haley Barbour
One of the main industry proponents on this front is John Jonas of Patton Boggs, who is lobbying for HCR Manor Care Inc. The issue is also of concern to Beverly Enterprises --whose team from the Steelman firm includes former Bush administration aide Deborah Steelman and Steve Jenning, a former policy director for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)--and to Mariner Post-Acute Network, which has hired Black, Kelly, Scruggs & Healey's Charles Black and Jerry Klepner, a former Clinton administration HHS assistant secretary for legislation.

Despite bankruptcy, industry gives to candidates
The Associated Press State & Local Wire October 29, 2000

Despite its financial troubles, the nursing home industry has money to spend on legislative politics.
But corporate nursing-home chains have funneled nearly $92,000 into campaigns as well through the Florida Health Care Association's political action committee.

Separately, seven of Florida's largest for-profit care providers have spent nearly $182,000 in the 2000 election cycle. Three of the seven - Integrated Health Services, Mariner and Vencor - have filed for bankruptcy during the same period, claiming lawsuits coupled with limited Medicaid reimbursements are driving them out of business.

A spokesman for the Florida Health Care Association defended the industry's political contributions despite its financial woes.

"People need to realize it's just a cost of doing business and one that isn't reimbursed by Medicaid," Ed Towey said.

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This page created Mar 2001 by Michael Wynne