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Health Care Reform Brings On New Clients

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Proposed mandates that individuals buy health insurance and that employees provide it have prompted a number of businesses and groups such as the American Farm Bureau to get involved.

Pat Wolff, a health care specialist with the American Farm Bureau, said farmers “are scared to death that coverage would be mandated.”

Wolff said farmers have some allies in the Senate, including pivotal moderate Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who chairs the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

The League of American Orchestras is interested in health care because it wants to make sure that nonprofits get the same tax credits and subsidies that are provided for their for profit counterparts.

“Musicians and artists are part of the workforce just as other employers are,” said Heather Noonan, vice president of advocacy for the musicians’ group.

Meanwhile, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe of Colorado has employed a lobbyist to push for inclusion of the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act as part of the comprehensive health care legislation.

“IHCIA has not been reauthorized for more than a decade, and this seems like the only vehicle if it is to happen this year,” said Christine Arbogast, vice president of Kogovsek & Associates, the Colorado firm hired by the tribe.

Arbogast added that her firm’s contacts have largely been limited to Colorado’s Congressional delegation. “I am frankly delighted that but for this narrow focus, we do not have a dog in this fight!” she wrote in an e-mail.

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