Tag Archives: cpi

CPI to absorb Huffington Post Fund, health focus to continue

The New York Times‘ Tanzina Vega reports that two major news nonprofits, both regulars on this blog, are joining forces to create a heavyweight investigative unit with deep roots in the nation’s capital. The Center for Public Integrity, who we praised most recently for the wide-ranging asbestos investigation they did with the BBC, will absorb the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, which was founded last year. The HuffPo crew will bring with them $2 million in grant money, Vega reported.

Huffington Post Investigative Fund reporters Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz have come up often in this space, thanks to their dogged coverage of health information technology and the ARRA. Editor Keith Epstein told AHCJ, via e-mail, that the combined organization will build on their efforts.

We’re going to have a strong emphasis on health reporting generally, and we’re excited that part of that emphasis will be continued and even enhanced examinations of the nation’s deployment of stimulus-fueled health information technology.

Tracking Canada’s asbestos funding

Fallout from Dangers in the Dust, the mammoth asbestos investigation by the BBC and the Center for Public Integrity/International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, continues. On the ICIJ Global Muckracker blog, Jim Morris details the Canadian Public Health Association‘s ongoing effort to detail the financial relationship between a powerful Quebec asbestos lobby and Canada’s Ministry of Natural Resources.

The CPHA’s policy director, James Chauvin, told ICIJ that the institute was “polite” in its responses to inquiries and did send “a pile of technical manuals.” But the manuals shed no light on how C$20 million in federal funds has been spent over the past quarter-century, Chauvin said, and the information wasn’t available on the ministry’s website.

The lobbyists, Montreal’s Chrysotile Institute, have earned Canada the title of “primary booster” of the global asbestos trade. The institute receives both government and industry funds, though the numbers are still fuzzy for both.

If you’ve somehow missed Dangers in the Dust thus far, head over immediately. The infographics alone are worth the price of admission. At the very least, read Brenda Wilson’s summary on the NPR health blog.

CPI: Insurers prepare $20 mil lobbying effort

On the Center for Public Integrity’s PaperTrail blog, Peter Stone reports that five of biggest insurers in America are preparing to go to the mat for round two, this time with the intertwined goals of swinging midterm elections and influencing health reform implementation regulations.

According to Stone, Aetna, Humana, United HealthCare, WellPoint and (maybe) Cigna will pool something like $20 million. Look for the new lobbying organization, probably a 501(c) (4) nonprofit, in the next few months. Television ads and a variety of other campaigns will likely follow.