Top of the morning

Put this one in the “it’s hard not to be a little cynical” category. 

The folks at the Sunlight Foundation in Washington do an impressive job keeping up with the interlocking webs of special interests in Washington. The group’s latest report focuses on the connections between Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee and the health care industry.

It includes the standard compilation of how much money each Senator has raised from health care and insurance interests. Chairman Max Baucus last year raised $1.14 million from the health sector and another $285,000 from the insurance industry.

But just as interesting is the relationship between the Senators and the lobbyists trying to influence the debate.  The ten Democrats on the committee have connections to 20 former staffers who are now lobbyists for some part of the health care industry.

The staffers represent a total of 91different clients, from the American Medical Association to PhRMA to various insurance companies.

If the Obama Administration wants to pass any meaningful health care reform, it will have figure out how to deal with the large revolving door standing in the way.

4 Comments

  1. Top of the morning | Health Insurance

    June 30, 2009 at 8:10 am

    [...] View post: Top of the morning [...]

  2. Lou Meyers

    June 30, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Treason! Another sneak attack from within on our health, our lives! You wonder how they can live with themselves. At the end of the day, sorry is not going to cut it!

  3. IBXer

    June 30, 2009 at 9:24 am

    “A cynic is said to be someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

    You guys are all cynics by definition. You complain about how much lobbyists spend to protect their interests but you never consider how much trouble we would be in if people no longer could influence the government.

    The ability to influence the government is the whole point of having democracy. Either stop complaining or stop calling yourselves Democrats.

  4. gregflynn

    June 30, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    The “cynic” quote provided is not a definition. It is attributed to Oscar Wilde and is a paraphrasing, from Lady Windermere’s Fan, of the words of the Lord Darlington, a scoundrel trying to gain advantage by insinuating himself into a miscommunication between two parties. Sounds like an unprincipled lobbyist to me.

    A cynic is more properly defined as:
    “A person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view.”
    Sounds like the invocation at an Ayn Rand symposium.

    The sweeping statement that “you never consider how much trouble we would be in if people no longer could influence the government.” is patently false. Read the first paragraph of “About NC Policy Watch“:
    “NC Policy Watch is a public policy organization with a simple mission: to change the way our elected officials debate the important issues facing North Carolina and, ultimately, to improve the quality of life in the state by convincing state leaders to make the kinds of investments in people and institutions that allow us to address our most pressing problems”

    Democracy is government by the people through elected representation, not campaign contribution. The people should be allowed to govern with the invisible hand of the market tipping the scales of justice.

    NC Policy Watch is also committed to reforming government so that the public can take an active part in these debates. We work to promote lobbying reform, campaign finance reform..

    Here’s a few more Oscar Wilde quotes, all gloriously out of context:

    “Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.”

    “In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.”

    “I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”

    “I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.”