How graft is shaping health-care “reform”
From Paying big to buy Congress Capitol Hill Blue 09/16/09
By ALAN FRAM
Sen. Max Baucus, a leader in the troubled effort in Congress to write a health care overhaul bill, has received more campaign donations from the health industry than any elected federal official except President Barack Obama and three other senators.
Baucus, who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has collected $3.9 million in donations from the health industry since 1989………
Baucus’ bill — set to be unveiled Wednesday — is seen as the closest to a draft that might win Senate passage with some GOP support. It’s also the closest to what the health industry wants: It has no government-run insurance option, would require individuals to get coverage and sets up experiments in limiting medical malpractice suits……
Corporate and individual contributions from the health sector to current officeholders have totaled $328 million over the past two decades…….Health insurers alone have donated at least $42 million to lawmakers, including nearly $2 million to the six senators working on the health legislation.