Featured analyst of the week: @Priscilla

Last week, we featured @ddwriter, the winner of our Lobbyist Editing Challenge. This week, we’re featuring @Priscilla, our second-place winner. It wasn’t officially her prize, but she did a lot of good research on congressional-staffers-turned-healthcare-lobbyists and deserves to be recognized for it.

@Priscilla is really Morgan Rauch of Houston, Texas. Upon first look, her profile picture looks like it could be Virginia Woolf or a young Georgia O’Keeffe. But in fact, it’s Jeannette Pickering Rankin, the first female in Congress, elected to the House of Representatives in 1916. She chose the name Priscilla as a tribute to her favorite teacher in high school.

Rauch is retired and lives in Houston, Texas. She has to contend with hurricanes, most recently Ike, which devastated nearby Galveston, but loves living there. Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center, one of the largest medical facilities in the world. The complex is constantly covered in the local news and is a giant slice of the local economy. It recently made headlines when local lawmakers visited the campus to speak with doctors there, who denounced the public option. See the video on Verum Serum here.

Rauch also keeps a blog here where she comments on the day’s news. In an Aug. 12 entry, she writes:

My hope is that legislators will be able to reflect on the concerns of the public no matter how it was delivered and address them is September. Clarity will go a long way toward a rational debate and compromise to craft what most people agree on … health care costs are unsustainable.

Rauch is a self-professed “TV news snob” and watches C-SPAN, “Frontline,” and “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” among others. She agrees with the pundits who say that universal health care won’t happen in the United States until the government decides whether it’s a moral issue or not. As a veteran, Rauch feels grateful for her own care at Houston’s VA Medical Center. She says: “When I first entered the VA system in 1966 there was treatment available for women veterans but it has really ratcheted up beginning in the late ’80s or early ’90s. I have no complaints.”

One reason she participated in our healthcare research was watching her family’s coverage deteriorate. “I have watched my relatives deal with the rising costs of health care by taking higher deductibles and less coverage year after year after year,” she said.

We thank you for your research, @Priscilla. We salute you!