Following the Money

Curious that the Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee that receive the most money from the healthcare and insurance industries are also the ones that voted no on the Rockefeller and Schumer amendments. From Politicus USA:

The two largest industries in terms of contributions to Finance Committee are the Health, and Insurance industries. According to Open Secrets, the healthcare industry gave $7 million in PAC contributions to committee members. Not to be outdone, the finance, insurance, and real estate industries also gave $7 million to the committee.

Committee chairman Max Baucus has taken $1.1 million each from the health and insurance industries. The two largest contributors to Tom Carper of Delaware for 2010 have been the health and insurance sectors. The same holds true for Kent Conrad. The top donor for 2010 to Blanche Lincoln was the healthcare industry. The insurance industry has given $1.5 million to Bill Nelson for the 2010 cycle.

The Open Secrets data is current as of August 29, 2009.

Tags: Public Option, Senate Finance Committee, Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Blanche Lincoln, Senator Kent Conrad, Senator Max Baucus, Senator Tom Carper, US Healthcare Reform (all tags)



Re: Following the Money

Question... Can someone explain to me what the differences were that caused Carper and Nelson to vote no on the Rockefeller amendment, but yes on the Schumer amendment?

by bannana873 2009-09-29 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Following the Money

From memory the Rockefeller amendment tied the public option to within 5% of Medicare.  Schumer's didn't.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-09-29 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Following the Money


Rockefeller's proposal was expected to garner less support than Schumer's. The government-run insurance option he envisioned would have used Medicare reimbursement rates for the first two years; Schumer's public plan would negotiate rates and not be tied to Medicare.
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Ironically, the more liberal amendment offered by Rockefeller is also more fiscally responsible, according the Congressional Budget Office. Rockefeller's package would have shaved $50 billion of the bill's cost over a ten-year period.

Ryan Grim - Public Option Amendments Fail In Senate Finance Committee Huffington Post 29 Sep 09

I reckon this fiscal responsibility argument has legs, myself.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-09-29 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Following the Money

They wanted to get progressives off their backs with an easy vote that they knew would fail, but not annoy their insurance companies' contributors enough to scare the $$$ away...

by LordMike 2009-09-29 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Following the Money

Which is why I question bowers certainty over the floor vote count.

by bruh3 2009-09-29 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Following the Money

Quite frankly, I'm surprised that Baucus didn't vote for it... This would have been an easy way to reduce the crap coming his way.

by LordMike 2009-09-29 08:07PM | 0 recs
What does he care?

He's not running for anything.

by DTOzone 2009-09-29 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: What does he care?

It would boost his badly bruised credibility...

by LordMike 2009-09-29 08:53PM | 0 recs
He doesn't care about credbility

in his mind, "the left is mad at me, people on the blogs are calling me names, boo-hoo"

by DTOzone 2009-09-29 08:55PM | 0 recs
Well Said

Tha's about the size of it.  But it ain't over yet, just wait for the floor vote.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-09-29 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Well Said

Grassley claims that a floor vote would win...  but, his credibility on anything is questionable...

by LordMike 2009-09-29 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Well Said

Who knows?  Harkin seems to think so:

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said that the Senate "comfortably" has a majority of votes to pass the public plan, and that he believes Democrats can muster 60 votes to break a filibuster.

"I have polled senators, and the vast majority of Democrats -- maybe approaching 50 -- support a public option," Harkin said told the liberal "Bill Press Radio Show." "So why shouldn't we have a public option? We have the votes.

"I believe we'll have the 60 votes, now that we have the new senator from Massachusetts, to at least get it on the Senate floor," Harkin later added. "But once we cross that hurdle, we only need 51 votes for the public option. And I believe there are, comfortably, 51 votes for a public option."

Michael O'Brien - Harkin says he has the votes to pass public option bill in the Senate The Hill 29 Sep 09

Fifty-one is plenty.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-09-29 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Following the Money
A bad bill will get a GOP Congress next year.  
Get it right--there's just been no leadership on this.  The Dems might be better off in 2010 with no bill rather than a bad one.  At least, progressives can say we tried.
by esconded 2009-09-29 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Following the Money

What I don't understand is how any of these people can be taking money from these lobbyists and still keep a seat on this committee.  A conflict of interest is a conflict of interest.  Period.  They should all have to step away or stop taking funds from the lobbyists.  Or is that too much common sense for Washington?

by krwheaton 2009-09-30 10:15AM | 0 recs


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