Consumer Watchdog reports that Congressional members who sit on the five key committees charged with healthcare reform have, this year, been invited to 130 health industry fundraisers:
“The fundraisers included donations ranging from a low $500 to attend a ‘Healthcare Industry Reception’ for Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) in July, a $1,500 Mexican dinner at La Loma with Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), to a $5,000 “PAC Gold Host” contribution for a breakfast event benefiting Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).”
Belgium waffles have really become expensive! Although, probably free for senators.
Over the same period of time health industry Political Action Committees (PACs) and individuals donated $30.7 million to committee members.
“$30M in Industry Money Clouding Debate, Says Consumer Watchdog.”
While the uninvited American taxpayer waits to learn the details of healthcare reform, members of Congress are being wined and dined by lobbyists.
“Who can tell which hard decisions on health reform are being made over $1,000 high-balls shared by lobbyists and politicians while the public’s locked out of the room?” - Carmen Balber, Washington Director for Consumer Watchdog
Per Consumer Watchdog, Sen. Max Baucus’ plan was under consideration yesterday by his committee. In it, all Americans would be required to have health insurance; however, there would be no cap on what insurance companies could charge. Furthermore, no public option is offered. Under such a plan, middle-class families might be paying almost 20% of their yearly income on health care.
“A mandate for individuals to purchase private health insurance with no affordable coverage alternative is exactly what the health care lobby hoped for from health reform.” – Consumer Watchdog
Here is something to think about:
“Lobbying disclosure filings for the first quarter of 2009 reveal that five of Baucus’ former staffers currently work for a total of twenty-seven different organizations that are either in the health care or insurance sector or have a noted interest in the outcome. The organizations represented include some of the top lobbying organizations in the health sector: Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Researchers of America (PhRMA), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Amgen, and GE Health Care.” See: - http://blog.sunlightfoundation.com/2009/06/22/the-max-baucus-health-care-lobbyist-complex/
The Baucus’ plan doesn’t sound like a plan for America. However, it would probably work for Max.
Full story: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/patients/articles/?storyId=29608
Data analysis of fundraisers, campaign contributions and health care lobbyists: