But because the Republicans could be relied upon to block anything a Black President does, it didn’t matter how conciliatory the bill was to lobbyists because the average American voter was only going to see Republicans being shitheads. No pundit was going to explain how the Pharma lobby overpowered any talk of negotiating drug prices at the national level. If the bill sucked — and it sucked long before it hit the floor — its suckage could be blamed on Republicans. And to this day, Hillary says the flaws of the ACA bill are attributable to Congressional gridlock and not the lobbyists who wrote the bill in the first place.
Here’s the truth: No matter how good their intentions, the net result of most such efforts has typically been neutral at best, and can sometimes be deeply destructive. The most valuable path may well be to simply invest this enormous pool of resources in the people and institutions that are already doing this work (including, yes, public institutions funded by tax dollars) and trust that they know their domains better than someone who’s already got a pretty demanding day job. That may not be as appealing to the cult of disruption within the tech echo chamber, but would be exactly the kind of brave and unexpected move that might offer Max a great example of how to engage with the real world that the rest of us live in.