Top Finance Committee Members Rake In Health Care PAC Money

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As the debate over health care reform legislation has heated up over the spring and summer months, the Senate Finance Committee has found itself at the center of the debate. Leading this debate has been the duo of Max Baucus, committee chair, and Chuck Grassley, committee ranking member. According to campaign finance records filed with the FEC, the duo raised $219,000 from health and insurance political action committees (PACs) from April to June of this year.

The majority of that money was raised by Sen. Grassley, who is up for reelection in 2010 and could face a Republican primary battle. During the height of the debate over health care, Grassley pulled in $165,100 from health and insurance PACs. At the same time, Grassley’s language turned from the cautious but open words about reform in 2008 to the abrasive Twitter rants of 2009.

Earlier in the year, Grassley teamed with Baucus to pass an extension of benefits in the State Childrens Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). Now, the ranking Republican, while involved in bipartisan talks over a health reform bill, has become a forceful voice in opposition to all plans that have already passed out of other congressional committees and has taken to Twitter to attack President Obama and his call to get a bill completed sooner rather than later. Max Baucus, chair of the Finance Committee, to the chagrin of congressional Democrats has heeded Grassley’s plea to slow down the health reform process. The Finance Committee is currently the only congressional committee still debating a bill. This is after holding ten hearings on health care reform in 2008 in preparation for the 2009 debate and holding eight hearings this year. Baucus, despite a pledge to not take health care PAC money after June 1 was still able to raise $55,000 from health care PACs in April and May alone. This is without being up for reelection until 2014.

The majority of the money to the two senators comes from health professionals and pharmaceutical companies. The biggest contributors include Aetna, American Academy of Family Physicians, National Health Underwriters and Healthsouth Corporation.

As the committee continues to debate into the fall, we’ll have to wait and see if the PAC contribution continue to pour in. The next reporting date is October 15. By then, a compromise may have already been crafted or the bipartisan talks could have fallen apart.

Sen. Grassley’s 2nd Quarter Contribution Total by Date (Dollars Over Time):

To see more on health care sector influence in the Senate Finance Committee, see our coverage here.

Sen. Grassley’s 2nd Quarter Contributions:

Abbott Laboratories $1,000.00 06/05/09
AETNA $1,000.00 06/26/09
AFLAC $5,000.00 04/13/09
Amedisys $5,000.00 05/19/09
Amedisys $5,000.00 06/19/09
American Academy of Dermatology Assn $5,000.00 05/26/09
American Academy of Family Physicians $2,500.00 06/05/09
American Academy of Neurology $1,000.00 05/19/09
American Academy Physician Assistant $1,000.00 06/29/09
American Assn for HomeCare $2,500.00 04/15/09
American Assn of Nurse $1,000.00 05/04/09
American Assn of Nurse $1,500.00 06/08/09
American Assn of Orthodontists $5,000.00 06/30/09
American Chiropractic Association $1,000.00 06/11/09
American Clinical Laboratory Assoc $2,000.00 06/23/09
American College of Cardiology $2,000.00 06/28/09
American College of Physicians Services $2,500.00 05/18/09
American College of Radiology $2,500.00 05/22/09
American College of Surgeons $4,000.00 06/08/09
American Diabetic Association $2,000.00 05/04/09
American Distetic Assn $1,000.00 06/01/09
American Distetic Assn $500.00 06/01/09
American Health Care Assoc $1,000.00 06/26/09
American Medical Association $2,000.00 05/26/09
American Medical Group Assoc $1,500.00 06/10/09
American Nurses Association $1,000.00 06/29/09
American Occupational Therapy Assn $2,000.00 05/26/09
American Optometric Association $1,000.00 06/06/09
American Pharmacists Association $2,000.00 06/23/09
American Physical Therapy $1,000.00 04/22/09
American Physical Therapy $1,000.00 05/22/09
American Society for Radiation Oncology $1,500.00 05/19/09
American Society of Anesthesiologists $2,000.00 05/18/09
Assn for the Advancement of Psychology $1,000.00 05/18/09
Association for Advanced Life $1,000.00 04/06/09
Association for Advanced Life $4,000.00 05/14/09
Baxter Healthcare Corporation $2,000.00 06/29/09
Bayer Corporation $1,000.00 06/22/09
Biotechnology Industry Organization $1,000.00 05/04/09
Boehringer Ingelheim Corp $1,000.00 06/01/09
Bristol-Myers Squibb $2,000.00 06/29/09
College of American Pathologists $1,500.00 06/29/09
College of American Pathologists $3,000.00 06/29/09
Coventry Health Care Inc $1,000.00 06/19/09
CVS/Caremark Corporation $1,500.00 05/07/09
CVS/Caremark Corporation $2,500.00 06/29/09
DaVita, Inc. $1,500.00 05/11/09
Delta Dental Plans $2,500.00 06/29/09
Generic Pharmaceutical Association $2,500.00 06/19/09
Gentiva Health Services $2,000.00 06/18/09
Gentiva Health Services $2,000.00 05/06/09
Health Industry Manufacturers Assoc $2,700.00 06/29/09
Healthcare Distribution Management $2,000.00 06/22/09
Healthsouth Corp $2,000.00 05/01/09
Homecare and Hospice $2,000.00 05/01/09
Invacare Corp $2,000.00 04/15/09
Kindred Healthcare Inc $2,000.00 04/27/09
Kindred Healthcare Inc $3,000.00 04/27/09
Laboratory Corporation of America $2,500.00 06/19/09
Louisiana Health Care Group $1,000.00 05/25/09
MedAssets PAC $2,400.00 05/01/09
National Assn for Home Care $1,000.00 06/22/09
National Assn of Health Underwriters $2,500.00 05/26/09
National Assn of Health Underwriters $1,000.00 05/26/09
National Assn of Health Underwriters $1,500.00 05/26/09
National Assn of Health Underwriters $4,000.00 06/29/09
National Association of Psychiatric Health $2,000.00 05/01/09
National Community Pharmacists Assn $1,000.00 06/29/09
National Emergency Medicine $2,500.00 05/26/09
New England Medical Equipment $500.00 04/15/09
Proctor & Gamble $1,000.00 06/30/09
Proctor & Gamble $1,000.00 05/26/09
Psychiatric Solutions, Inc $1,500.00 05/01/09
Sanofi-Aventis $1,000.00 04/08/09
Society for Vascular Surgery $1,000.00 06/26/09
Society of Thomde (sic) Surgeons $2,000.00 06/02/09
Tenet Healthcare Corp $1,500.00 06/08/09
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons $2,500.00 06/30/09
Unitedhealth Group $1,500.00 05/01/09
Universal Health Services $1,500.00 05/01/09
Us Oncology Inc $4,000.00 04/27/09
Wellpoint $2,500.00 05/04/09
Weyerhauser Company $2,500.00 05/16/09
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  • John Thacker

    “Let’s call lobbying what it really is for a change, bribery.”

    Let’s call lobbying what it really is for a change, paying protection money to politicians who threaten to otherwise ruin your business.

    Lobbying goes both ways. Companies insist that they’re forced to play the game, as do politicians.

    One thing is for sure, the specter of health care reform has certainly increased lobbying and lobbying money in DC. That happens anytime government gets more involved, though. Don’t think that actually passing even single-payer health care would reduce lobbying; quite the reverse.

  • Who Cares

    WTF!

  • Great post–will link to it at Bleeding Heartland.

    Grassley won’t be primaried, though–that was just crazy Bill Salier shooting off his mouth. The evangelicals aren’t too fond of Grassley anymore, but they are not going to focus resources on a primary challenger in this race.

  • FrJon

    Let’s call lobbying what it really is for a change, bribery.