According to the WSJ and WaPo, a number of key Congressfolk have very significant investments in medical industry stocks, including pharma. Note that these are personal/family investments or employment, not campaign contributions. Here is some of the list:
Harry Reid, Senate majority leader: At least $50,000 invested in a major health-care index.
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.): Between $254,000 and $560,000 of stock holdings in major health companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck.
Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.): Her family held at least $3.2 million in more than 20 health-care companies at the end of last year.
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.): At least $165,000 in drug and medical stocks.
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.): At least $180,000 in investments in more than 20 health-care companies.
Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.): His wife serves on the boards of four health companies, receiving more than $200,000 in salary and stock for 2008. (WaPo cited the Associated Press on that fact.)
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.): Along with his wife, he holds at least $5.2 million in companies including Merck and Eli Lilly.
Sen. Michael Crapo (R-Idaho): $16,879 worth of stock in companies including St. Jude Medical.
What say you? If Chief Justice Roberts recused himself for owning $10K of Pfizer, should, for example, should the Kerry's either sell the stock or should Kerry recuse himself for owning "at least $5.2 mil" of Merck and Lilly? What about COIs on FDA Advisory Committees?
Or do we assume that pols, exactly because they are pols, inherently have "conflicts of interests" (their own and those of constituents) which means that "objectivity" has a far lower threshold, if it has any at all?