Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Healthcare cash

Pharmacists, optometrists and groups representing an array of medical specialists boosted their political giving in 2009, as Congress worked on health care legislation that would dramatically reshape their industry, a review of new campaign-finance reports shows.

Donations by the top 15 health care political action committees rose to $11.7 million in 2009, a nearly 14% increase from 2007, the most recent non-election year, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data compiled by CQ MoneyLine. Despite the economic recession, most of the political action committees examined increased their giving.

You have to be a fool to believe that the resulting healthcare bill benefits the public rather than the interests of the healthcare industry.

Need more proof?

The National Community Pharmacists Association had the biggest jump. Its political arm gave more than $1 million in 2009, more than triple its 2007 giving. The 13,000-member group worked successfully to insert favorable provisions in health bills that passed the House of Representatives and Senate last year, including a measure to roll back cuts in government reimbursements for generic drugs.

When Congress gives out price supports for generic drugs (which are supposed to be the cheaper ones!) in exchange for $1 million in corporate donations, Congress has no right to question public cynicism.

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