Monday, August 24, 2009

The Health Care Industry's Insurance Policy

Read this excerpt from Wikipedia about Senator Max Baucus, Senate leader of health care 'reform' efforts, and weep:

[Max] Baucus has come under criticism for his ties to the health insurance
and pharmaceutical industries while significant numbers of his own constituents
lack health insurance and access to health care. The University of Montana
Bureau of Business and Economic Research found that Montana has always ranked
near the bottom in cross-state and national comparisons of health insurance
coverage. Despite this backdrop in his home state, Senator Baucus has been
one of the biggest Senate beneficiaries of campaign contributions from the
pharmaceutical and health insurance industries. From 2003 to 2008, Baucus
received $3,973,485 from the health sector, including $852,813 from
pharmaceutical companies, $851,141 from health professionals, $784,185 from the
insurance industry and $465,750 from HMOs/health services, according to the
Center for Responsive Politics.

The only senators who received more campaign contributions from the
health sector during the period from 2003 to 2008 than Senator Baucus were three
major Presidential contenders, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John

Only three senators have more former staffers working as lobbyists on K Street, at least two dozen in Baucus's case. Several of Baucus' ex-staffers with whom he is still close, among them, former chief of staff David Castagnetti, are now working for the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries. Castagnetti co-founded the lobbying firm of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, which represents "America’s Health Insurance Plans Inc.," the national trade group of health insurance companies, the Medicare Cost Contractors Alliance, as well as Amgen, AstraZeneca PLC and Merck & Co. Another former chief of staff, Jeff Forbes, went on to open his own lobbying shop and to represent the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Advanced Medical Technology Association, among other groups.

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