Senate Finance Committee Health Care Influence Cluster: The Republicans

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Over the past few weeks, our designer Kerry and I have visualized the health care lobbyist connections of Senate Finance Committee members. The Senate Finance Committee has emerged as the key congressional committee in the debate over President Obama’s promised health care reform legislation. The committee is also packed with members with tight ties to the health care industry. By revealing the former staffers of Finance Committee members who have become lobbyists for the health care industry, we can show how close these connections are. Previously, visualizations were created highlighting Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus and the Democrats on the committee. Below is a visualization of the Senate Finance Committee Republicans and their connections to the health care industry through former staffers turned lobbyists. (view fullscreen)

(available as a large PNG file, as well)

The map shows nine out of ten committee Republicans with former staffers turned health care lobbyists. OpenSecrets.org does not report any staffers turned health care lobbyists for Sen. John Cornyn. These nine Republicans are connected to 22 different health care lobbyists.

Both Sens. Charles Grassley and Orrin Hatch have four connections to former staffers. Both senators are in powerful positions on the committee, especially as it pertains to health care legislation. Grassley is the current ranking member on the full committee and Hatch is the ranking member on the Health subcommittee. Both are also top recipients of money from the health and insurance industries. Over his career, Grassley received $1,876,479 from the health industry and $858,224 from the insurance industry. Hatch, meanwhile, pulled in $2,311,744 from the health industry and $659,307 from the insurance industry over his career.

These 22 lobbyists represent over 100 different health care organizations. Unlike with some of the lobbyists connected to committee Democrats, there is little overlap in clients. It appears that most of these staffers turned lobbyists have their own unique portfolios.

As with former staffers on the Democratic side, these lobbyists represent some of the top health care organizations lobbying in Washington. Eli Lilly, Pfizer, PhRMA, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Merck are all represented.

The money from the health and insurance industries into Republican committee member campaigns is relatively high. The insurance industry is the top contributor to Sen. Grassley’s campaigns over his career. Pharmaceutical companies are the top contributors to Sen. Hatch’s campaigns. In fact, every Republican committee member has a health or insurance industry as their one or more of their top five career contributors.

Campaign Contributions for Republican Members of the Senate Finance Committee

Senator 2008 Health Sector Career Health Sector 2008 Insurance Sector Career Insurance Sector
CHUCK GRASSLEY (IA) $334,237.00 $1,876,479.00 $72,200.00 $858,224.00
ORRIN G. HATCH (UT) $122,300.00 $2,311,744.00 $24,880.00 $659,307.00
OLYMPIA J. SNOWE (ME) $6,000.00 $744,640.00 $5,000.00 $408,490.00
JON KYL (AZ) $68,550.00 $1,971,968.00 $2,000.00 $533,044.00
JIM BUNNING (KY) $40,450.00 $1,045,687.00 $45,100.00 $769,016.00
MIKE CRAPO (ID) $92,000.00 $549,192.00 $63,750.00 $360,932.00
PAT ROBERTS (KS) $657,749.00 $903,337.00 $157,900.00 $296,342.00
JOHN ENSIGN (NV) $16,550.00 $1,795,899.00 $19,150.00 $580,690.00
MIKE ENZI (WY) $287,549.00 $612,715.00 $84,250.00 $240,953.00
JOHN CORNYN (TX) $950,669.00 $1,994,353.00 $289,069.00 $568,253.00
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  • Sherry Callahan

    RE: Health Care
    Why don’t we agree to increase the entertainment tax, this would be the perfect solution; if ticket prices and a higher tax on players and team owners, movie industry, music industry and so on.
    The money that is spent on Sports and Entertainment events which are not an essential to a family’s budget and survival, this is a luxury. These entertainment industries should be tax higher because it is a luxury. This money could go toward the health care and our seniors need.
    Even if the ticket price for a sport event was increased from a $1.00-to .50 cents, on each and every social event, sporting event , concerts, movie industry and an increase taxes on players and owners of teams, actors.
    I know I can’t take a tax increase I’m unemployed and without health insurance, just like everyone else who is making under $20k we can’t take another tax increase.
    Taxing the entertainment market and sport events, seem like a perfect Solution for income.
    Then there should be a cap on the cost for doctor’s care, hospital care and medication.
    It should be against the law for some doctors to run you to a specialist who refers you on to someone/thing else.
    The prescription/medicine industry should also have cap on their prices. The soon the better, I just picked up 2 prescription today, 1st was $287.49, the 2nd was 231.98. I’m unemployed drawing $290. And without insurance, how am I supposed to survive like this?
    Stop wasting time; make decisions and laws that will take affect SOON.
    If everyone involved with this Health care issue where to stop getting a paycheck until decision are made and laws are put in place, something may get done.
    Why are we paying people for a job s that they are not doing?
    Sincerely,
    Sherry Callahan

  • I live in the UK where healthcare is free to all, however illegal immigration has put such a strain on the system that government spending has nearly doubled our taxes just keep going up as a result.