Thursday, January 20, 2011

LePage Taps Special Interest Lobbyist for HHS Post

Here's all you need to know about Paul LePage's nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services: she's the head of a lobbying association representing the interests of hospitals.

Is this a big deal? Potentially yes, potentially no. I'm going to give Mary Mayhew the benefit of the doubt. But it is certainly worth pointing out that there can be direct conflicts of interest between the financial interests of hospitals and an affordable, effective, and functioning social services network.

Mayhew, who has no experience at all with social services administration, is already on record as favoring cuts in the state assistance programs, guised, of course, in the language of getting people "off welfare."

She spoke of a need to change the mission of the department.

"Welfare was never meant to be a lifestyle," she said. "Yet that is exactly what it has become for too many families who are trapped in a failing system."

Again, I'll give Mayhew the benefit of the doubt, but my "shill radar" is already beginning to wail. Is this really the time to cut back on social, at a time of ruinous unemployment and declining wages? Unfortunately, my guess is that we have a DHHS headwho will greedily go along with LePage's mission to hack Maine's social safety net to pieces in the name of "low taxes" and a "good business environment."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What I found most amusing was the inartful way the Gov. announced this appointment- ie searched high and low , rejected by boatloads of females and finally stumbled upon her- If Ms. Mayhew had any chutzpah she'd had turned on her heels and told him to "kiss her butt"