The Bought Off — Health Care Edition

Filed in National by on June 22, 2009

See the details here. Make sure to look at the entire thing — there are great spreadsheets and other data here.

But as you listen to the back and forth of the health care discussion, be familiar with the Bought Off and treat their commentary accordingly:


McCain, John (R-AZ) $251,834
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $200,200
Baucus, Max (D-MT) $183,750
Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $101,400
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA) $98,600
Collins, Susan (R-ME) $96,500
Kyl, Jon (R-AZ) $90,450
Warner, Mark (D-VA) $89,700
Hatch, Orrin (R-UT) $85,903
Nelson, Ben (D-NE) $83,300


Cantor, Eric (R-VA) $113,850
Camp, Dave (R-MI) $112,923
Pomeroy, Earl (D-ND) $104,500
Boehner, John (R-OH) $101,200
Deal, Nathan (R-GA) $100,000
Towns, Edolphus (D-NY) $87,750
Rogers, Mike (R-AL) $74,000
Blunt, Roy (R-MO) $72,800
Ryan, Paul (R-WI) $69,000
Tanner, John (D-TN) $68,500

Even better is a longer look at Max Baucus’ contributions. The Chairman of the Finance Committee in the Senate has been getting about $1500 per day in contributions from the insurance industry.

$1500 per day.


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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (18)

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  1. jason330 says:

    Well, well.

    I guess when 70% of the country is screaming to have Government jump in to fix our broken health insurance system – 20 or so well placed and paid off people can provide an effective counter-balance.

  2. Is that a bad thing? Why wouldn’t the health insurance agency want access to the debate? You could also find people with high contributions from labor and other government run health care supporters. It is called free people trying to get their allies elected to affect public policy. It is not some secret behind the scenes effort.

    You obviously have no problems with the concept in general, or did I miss the drum beating for public financing of campaigns?

  3. Exactly, Jason.

    Obviously it’s money well invested for the insurance companies. This is how the will of the majority is thwarted. We have to make our voices heard in this debate. Unfortunately, each of our voices is tiny, but there are way more of us then there are millionaire health insurance executives.

  4. Perry says:

    David, you jump right in there to defend bad government, don’t you?

    These campaign contributions should be stopped in favor of public financing only.

    The special interests have purchased a corrupted and backwards healthcare system, and they coldly wish to continue it to serve their own quest for riches, rather than to serve the health of the American people who clearly want change, over 70% as Jason said.

    This is government of the people, by the people, for the people?

  5. Once again as long as it is open to the public, I have no problem with it. It is about assembling a governing coalition that doesn’t hurt you or steal everything that you earned. Bad government seems to me to be the government that make this necessary.

    As I said, what is your solution if not public financing? I am still waiting.

  6. Geezer says:

    What makes you think anyone here would be against public financing, David?

  7. Perry says:

    David: “As I said, what is your solution if not public financing? I am still waiting.”

    Public financing!

  8. cassandra_m says:

    Bad government is that which gets bought and paid for specifically to counteract what people who actually go to polls and vote for want. Tom Carper’s disease, if you like. If pols are more likely to listen to the few people who pay them rather than the many people who vote for them, I’m wondering why we do this thing every November?

  9. jason330 says:


    David acts like it is cool to give health insurance lobbyists a seat at the table. When he knows fulll well that they have bought all the seats at the table, rented the room that the table is in, and paid the caterers.

  10. I don’t see any problems being noted with big labor and George Soros having rented the entire room and the White House. What is wrong with balance? Perry is consistent. He says clear the decks and let everyone have a level playing field without the money chase. I respect that opinion. The rest of you are just playing politics in my humble opinion.

  11. Geezer says:

    David follows the usual Republican debate rules:

    When the specifics are against you, talk in generalities.
    When the generalities are against you, talk specifics.
    When both are against you, change the subject.

  12. The specifics are that the bill is a bad bill which will not cover most of the uninsured, but cost a lot of money. The bill hurts people who already have insurance and the millions of jobs in the industry.

    The specifics are that this is not a Republican Democrat debate. It is about various interest groups trying to get an upper hand in a legitimate contest on both sides, but you only have a problem with one side.

    I say what is the solution? You say that I am changing subjects. What is the real subject if not campaign finance? It must be naked political distortion.

  13. cassandra_m says:

    The House’s bill does pretty much cover everybody.

  14. John Manifold says:

    It’s impressive that Chris Dodd is not on the top 10, given that he comes from Ct., nesting spot for insurance companies, and in contrast to Lieberman’s reliance on insurance and pharmaceutical contributions.

    Dodd deserves 6th term in 2010.

  15. Geezer says:

    “and the millions of jobs in the industry”

    Do you have a citation for that? I ask because I’d like to know the actual number, which I haven’t seen anywhere else.

    As for the rest of your argument, David, I’m sure it makes perfect sense to you. But as I wrote earlier, I seriously doubt that people posting on a liberal web site would have any problem at all with public financing of all campaigns.

  16. John Manifold says:

    Carper is 45th, Biden 65th among 96* Senators in contributions from health insurers. Both would be lower on the list [with higher ordinal numbers] but for the fact that many of the insurance industry’s most prominent sucklings were defeated in last two cycles.

    Carper in same statistical cohort as Harkin and Kennedy. Biden tied with Lugar.

    * – Only one Senator from Minnesota. Of the remaining 99, the list omits the junior Senator from Illinois and, strangely, Kohl, Thune and Schumer [but includes Gillibrand].

  17. delacrat says:

    Insurance Pharma
    Carper 27,080 99,870
    Biden 13,800 30,300
    Castle 13,250 21,300

    Casey 40,212 34,250
    Specter 29,600 179,650

  18. delacrat says:

    Insurance Pharma
    Carper 27,080 99,870
    Biden 13,800 30,300
    Castle 13,250 21,300

    Casey 40,212 34,250
    Specter 29,600 179,650