Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu

That's what was on the menu for a fund raiser headlined by Sen. Max Baucus this past May, a fund raiser attended primarily by health care providers and insurance company executives who each forked over $10,000 for the senator's ear.

From the Washington Post:

At the table on May 26 were about 20 donors willing to fork over $10,000 or more to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, including executives of major insurance companies, hospitals and other health-care firms.

"Most people there had an agenda; they wanted the ear of a senator, and they got it," said Aaron Roland, a San Francisco health-care activist who paid half price to attend the gathering. "Money gets you in the door. The only thing the other side can do is march around and protest outside."

As his committee has taken center stage in the battle over health-care reform, Chairman Baucus (D-Mont.) has emerged as a leading recipient of Senate campaign contributions from the hospitals, insurers and other medical interest groups hoping to shape the legislation to their advantage. Health-related companies and their employees gave Baucus's political committees nearly $1.5 million in 2007 and 2008, when he began holding hearings and making preparations for this year's reform debate.
[Emphasis added]

And it's not just Sen. Baucus on the payroll, far from it:

The sector gave nearly $170 million to federal lawmakers in 2007 and 2008, with 54 percent going to Democrats, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics. The shift in parties was even more pronounced during the first three months of this year, when Democrats collected 60 percent of the $5.4 million donated by health-care companies and their employees, the data show.

So that's why we're not going to get any real health care reform with broadened access at an affordable price.

To say this is how sausage is made is no longer accurate metaphor for congressional action. This is more like how dogfood is made, which is pretty much all the rest of us are going to be able to afford to eat after Baucus and his buddies are finished with the bill.

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Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Meaningful health-care reform, which actually helps citizens, is Dead. The Pukes raised all-in, and "thePrez" folded.

7:25 AM  

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