NPR reports that Congressman John Mica has been pushing to replace TSA airport screening employees with screeners from private companies, and that those companies have been major contributors to Congressman Mica. Maybe replacing TSA employees with private screeners is a good idea, maybe it isn’t. But do we trust the opinion of a Congressman who is taking money from the companies that would benefit from this policy? Doesn’t that money make us question his judgment on this issue?
The reason I ask has nothing to do with airport screening. The doubt that I feel when I hear this Congressman pushing policies that help the people who give him money makes we wonder if this is how some patients feel about the advice they get from their doctor — knowing the doctor received money for services provided to drug companies.
There are growing regulations at many levels on the relationship between health care providers and drug companies. There is also greater transparency as drug companies start reporting what they give doctors. Transparency is a good thing.
It’s too bad that when it comes to politicians, it seems we are moving in the other direction — more money and less transparency.