Monday, February 2, 2009

Health care groups paid Daschle $220K

"Tom Daschle, tapped to be President Obama's health czar, was paid more than $200,000 by the health-care industry in the past two years . . . The former Senate majority leader, who gave speeches to firms and groups with a vested-interest in the administration's upcoming health reform, collected the checks as part of a $5 million windfall after he lost reelection to his South Dakota seat. . . . Daschle made nearly $5.3 million in the last two years, records released Friday show, including $220,000 he received for giving speeches, many of them to outfits that stand to gain or lose millions of dollars from the work he would do once confirmed as secretary of Health and Human Services. . . . This week, the group began openly lobbying him, sending him a letter urging him to rescind a rule requiring competitive bidding of Medicare contracts."

Everyone knew Daschle was one of the five or so key backers of Obama's candidacy.

If you were giving money to Daschle in 2008, you were attempting to buy influence with a potential high level Obama administration domestic policy appointee.

If the Daschle nomination is not withdrawn, all the talk of ethics and lobbying reform (to which several exceptions and waivers have already been given) will sound like just a bunch of bunk.

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