The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Matt Jacob 202.408.5565

Health Care Lobby Has Invested Heavily in Those Who Will Attend Reform Summit


On the eve of President Obama's health care reform summit, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released data
showing that since 2005, health care special interests have invested at
least $28 million in the campaigns of House and Senate leaders, chairs
and ranking members of committees with primary jurisdiction over health
care legislation. Additionally, President Obama received over $18.6
million during his presidential campaign.

According to CREW's study, the five summit invitees who have received the most health care dollars since 2005 are:

  • Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who has received over $2.5 million in contributions, $777,113 from the pharmaceutical/health products sector alone;

  • Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has received over $2.2
    million, $802,500 of which came from doctors, other medical
    professionals and their trade associations;

  • Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), who has received nearly $2 million, $483,750 of which came from the insurance, HMO and health services industries;

  • Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), who has received almost $1.9 million, $572,237 of which was contributed by hospitals and nursing homes; and

  • Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who has received over $1.8 million,
    and like Sen. McConnell, received a large portion of that -- $709,261
    -- from health professionals.

Four other participants, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. John Kyl
(R-AZ), each have received over $1.6 million from the industry. Others
also rely heavily on health care money. For example, more than 1 of
every 5 dollars raised by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) came from the health care sector.

"The health care industry has paid millions to insure its views are
represented at tomorrow's health care summit," said Melanie Sloan,
CREW's executive director. "The question is, who will be there
representing the rest of us?"

Click here for CREW's list of the health care sector's campaign contributions to the 21 House and Senate members initially invited to the summit.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.