Senate Finance Committee Health Care Influence Cluster: The Republicans


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. 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