Quantcast
Connect with us

Democrats who voted against public option got $19 million from healthcare firms

Published

on

Five Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee who voted on Tuesday to shoot down a proposed public option for the health care reform bill — a measure which polls show is favored by 81% of Democrats — are coming under close scrutiny for their ties to the health care industry.

According to Intershame.com — a site which aims to draw attention to misbehavior — those five senators have collectively been the recipients of over $19 million in donations from health care, pharmaceutical, and health insurance companies over the course of their Congressional careers.

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) alone accounts for nearly $8 million of the total. In addition, five of his former staff members — including two former chiefs of staff — are now lobbyists representing organizations with a strong interest in the health care bill.

Joan Walsh of Salon took Baucus to task for his vote, writing, “So let’s get this straight: Baucus admits the public option would ‘hold insurance companies’ feet to the fire,’ but he voted against it? Is there any clearer evidence that Baucus is in the pocket of the health insurance industry?”

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) comes in second on the Intershame list, with about $4 million in health industry donations, and Kent Conrad (D-ND) is third at around $3 million. Like Baucus, both Lincoln and Conrad have former chiefs of staff who are now health industry lobbyists.

Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com did some number-crunching last June which revealed the extent to which health insurance donations can influence Congressional voting. “Lobbying contributions appear to have the largest marginal impact on middle-of-the-road Democrats,” Silver wrote. “Liberal Democrats are likely to hold firm to the public option unless they receive a lot of remuneration from health care PACs. Conservative Democrats may not support the public option in the first place for ideological reasons, although money can certainly push them more firmly against it. But the impact on mainline Democrats appears to be quite large.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Calls are already appearing at places like the liberal message board Democratic Underground for progressives to sponsor primary challenges to all three senators.

Bill Nelson (D-FL) at $2.5 million and Tom Carper (D-DE) at $1.5 million fill out the Intershame list. Both voted in favor of the weaker Schumer version of a public option, which would not include robust measure to control costs, but against the stronger version proposed by Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Carper has also been a prominent supporter of a “trigger,” which would activate a public option only “if there is no meaningful competition after a couple of years.”

“If money is the reason these five Democrats rejected the public option,” Intershame concludes, “then it only took a little over 19 million dollars over 20 years to buy the five votes the health insurance industry needed to kill any meaningful reform to their industry. 19 million dollars is nothing compared to the profits the insurance industry will make if a public option is defeated. They got a great deal for that 19 million. The American people? Not so much.”

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Impressionism’s ‘forgotten woman’ shines in new Paris show

Published

on

The first major show of Berthe Morisot's paintings in France in nearly 80 years puts the forgotten woman of Impressionism back at the centre of the movement she helped found.

One damning review of the first exhibition by the group that would revolutionise art blasted that it was no more than "five or six lunatics of which one is a woman ...[whose] feminine grace is maintained amid the outpourings of a delirious mind."

That 1874 show included such soon-to-be art giants as Monet and Manet, whose brother Eugene later married Morisot.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Scientists find earliest clues of Parkinson’s in brain

Published

on

Scientists said Thursday they had found the earliest signs of Parkinson's disease in the brain years before patients show any symptoms, a discovery that could eventually lead to better screening for at-risk people.

Parkinson's, a neurodegenerative disorder that causes patients movement and cognitive problems, is estimated to effect up to 10 million people worldwide.

It is diagnosed by a build-up in the brain of a specific protein, a-synuclein, the cause of which is unclear.

However some people are born with a genetic mutation that makes them almost certain to develop the disease at some stage in their life.

Continue Reading
 

CNN

‘Out of his depth’: Trump holding back on Iran because he understands it’s harder than ‘swinging’ at a primary foe

Published

on

During a discussion on news that Iran has shot down a U.S. drone over international airspace on CNN, New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman explained that Donald Trump is in no rush to respond militarily because, for once, he knows he's "out of his depth."

Speaking with hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, Habermann said that the president will likely get advice from national security adviser John Bolton to push back militarily, but that Trump doesn't seem interested in taking on as large a task as going to war.

"He usually responds to a provocation when it's a smaller thing that he can punch and knock down," Haberman explained. "He's pretty aware he can't actually do that with Iran. So I don't think you're going to see the typical, you know, as if he were swinging back at a primary foe. I think he is going to actually be a little more careful in what he says."

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link