Health care reform and special interests

Hendrik Hertzberg posts a letter from Arnold Relman in response to one of his columns on healthcare reform. Relman and Hertzberg both point to special interests, namely lobbying by the current healthcare industry, as one of the key blockers to true reform.

What's interesting is that Hertzberg goes on to trace the problem of special interests back to the structure of U.S. democracy itself.

But how did those interests get so vested in the first place? Why do interests like the health-care industry have so much money and influence? I am convinced that the underlying cause can be found in the unique hydraulics of our centuries-old political mechanisms.

We have three separately constituted “governments