Healthcare Leadership Council
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) is a coalition of hospitals, health plans, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, biotech firms, health product distributors, pharmacies and academic health centers.
The organization's stated mission is "improving the affordability, innovation, and quality of American health care - already the best in the world."
On its website it states that "HLC builds grassroots coalitions at the community level to pursue its goals for America’s patients. Six regionally based field directors conduct meetings and facility tours with members of Congress, organize health briefings and forums to educate local media and the public, and form local health advisory committees to advocate for innovative, high-quality and affordable health care."
Comprised entirely of CEOs, the council is a policy advocacy organization which states that it promotes "providing access to health care for the uninsured, implementation of Medicare modernization, and medical liability reform are important HLC priorities, along with health care quality and patient safety, health information technology, patient privacy and addressing the health care workforce shortage."
Advocating corporate takeover of Medicare
In September 2011 the HLC announced in a press release a scheme that would lead the U.S. toward a complete corporate takeover of the Medicare program. The plan would gradually move Medicare beneficiaries into a privatized system by, in the words of the press release, "creat[ing] a new 'Medicare Exchange' in which private plans would compete on the basis of cost, quality and value." Former insurance industry PR executive-turned-consumer-advocate warned that the program was essentially Paul Ryan's health care plan utilizing a voucher system, but executed in a slower fashion. 
The organization's revenue is derived from dues assessed to its members, representing a variety of health care sectors, as mentioned above.
In March 2008, HLC members were:
- Abbott Laboratories
- AmerisourceBergen Corporation
- Ascension Health Care
- Assurant Health
- Baxter International
- Baylor Health Care System
- BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
- Cardinal Health, Inc.
- Cleveland Clinic Foundation
- CVS Caremark
- Eli Lilly & Company
- Evanston Northwestern Healthcare
- Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, Inc.
- Hospira, Inc.
- Johnson & Johnson
- Lahey Clinic
- Marshfield Clinic
- Mayo Clinic
- Merck & Company
- McKesson Corporation
- MedAssets, Inc.
- New York Presbyterian Hospital
- Novo Nordisk
- Premier, Inc.
- Texas Health Resources
- Theragenics Corporation
- University of Wisconsin Health
- VHA Inc.
- Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
Healthcare Leadership Council
750 9th Street, NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20001
Articles and Resources
- Healthcare Leadership Council, "About Us", accessed March 2008.
- Wendell Potter Health Care Front Group Provides New Clothes for GOP Medicare Privatization Plan, PRWatch.org, September 25, 2011
- Healthcare Leadership Council, "Members of The Healthcare Leadership Council", accessed March 2008.