Thursday, July 23, 2009

Buying Congress: Health Care Fundraising

Buying Congress
Health Care Fundraising

Drugmakers, hospitals and insurers continued to pour millions of dollars into lobbying during the second quarter of this year, hoping to limit the damage to their bottom line as lawmakers and the Obama administration wrangle over landmark health-care legislation.

New disclosure reports that began arriving Monday in Congress showed familiar players at the top of the health-care influence heap, including $6.2 million in lobbying by the dominant Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and $4 million by the American Medical Association.

Many health companies and associations increased their first-quarter lobbying expenditures, sometimes dramatically. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association upped its lobbying expenditures by a full million, to 2.8 million dollars in the second quarter; GlaxoSmithKline's spending jumped from $1.8 million to $2.3 million; Novartis grew from $1.4 million to $1.8 million; and Metlife Group reported $1.7 million, up nearly 50 percent. Allstate, which spent less than $900,000 on lobbying through March, boosted its spending to more than $1.5 million from April to June.

Others simply kept up the pace, including Johnson & Johnson at $1.6 million and America's Health Insurance Plans and Bayer Corp. both approaching $2 million in spending from April to June. The AMA has spent a total of $8.2 million on lobbying through June of this year. The enemies of America's real healthcare reform *** Lobbyists Spend Millions to Influence Health Care *** Blue Dogs Cause Health Care Delay; Fundraisers Continue *** Industry cash flowed to health-reform senators *** Lobbyists Spend Millions to Influence Health Care *** Drug industry, Pfizer lead in health lobbying *** Obama Declares War on the Health-Care Status Quo *** “Is 30 pieces of silver enough to be stuck on the wrong side of ... Daily Kos *** Industry cash flowed to health-reform senators *** More delays in House on healthcare reform *** Bailed-Out Companies Spend Millions to Lobby Congress *** 5 NY Democrats are blocking healthcare: fight back! *** Wealthy House Democrats Spar Over Health Care Tax Hike

A Debate About Nothing Sometimes your born and third base and think you hit a triple. Yassky born to wealth, will not commit to ending the abuse of connected operatives like Morris and Rattner who use the pension funds as there personal piggy bank, have no trouble cutting pension to works. REBEL COMPTROLLER HOPEFUL: I'D SLASH PENSION PAYOUTS *** After Pension Scandal, S.E.C. Seeks to Curb ‘Pay to Play’ *** The Wolf at Thompson's Door *** The Silence of the Lions: What the Comptroller Candidates Don't Want You to Know *** OUT OF COMPTROL, AS SCANDAL SPREADS, CITY COMPTROLLER CANDIDATES LOOK FOR BIGGER ROCK TO HIDE UNDER ***

Road to City Hall Financial Disclosures of Bloomberg and Thompson Are Released *** Thompson Continues to Challenge Mayor’s Claims of Success in Schools *** Decision '09: Schools chancellor Joel Klein becomes an issue unto himself as wanna-bes pounce *** More Artz's Spin - What about political corruption and the New York DAs looking the other way? Ex-drug addict: Vance helped turn around my life *** A Brief History of Novelty Mayoral Candidates

The Protected Mayor Why wasn't the Deutsche Bank tragedy Bloomberg's downfall? From the Village Voice

Next: Half the New York City Council: Report: 2 Mayors Held In NJ Corruption Case *** FBI ARRESTS MAYORS, RABBIS IN NEW JERSEY SWEEP *** Please come over here next! From NBC 4:

Inspector Clouseau Where are the reformers and good government groups on Espada abuse of the campaign laws. Wait a minute, can anyone remember the campaign finance laws ever being enforced? Espada camp fails to report posh fund-raiser at Sofritoda *** No clean slate for Espada filings -- Page 1 -- Times Union ... *** CBS 2 Uncovers Alleged Espada Campaign Violations - *** Still No Campaign Finance Filings From Espada Politicker NY ... *** 'No activity' or brutal campaign by Pedro Espada, wonders election big *** Bronx DA Launches Investigation Of Sen. Espada - *** YorkTwo Mayors Arrested In Major New Jersey Corruption Probe

Albany Dysfunctional Leadership Is anyone safe is John Sabini is forced to start driving again? OUT OF THE MONEY OTB SADDLES UP FOR POSSIBLE BANKRUPTCY *** Judge puts hold on blocking of Ravitch as lieutenant governor *** Total BS to save his job MTA Construction Chief says that 2nd Ave. subway delays are over, MTA mismanagement delays 2nd Ave subway *** Off to the races on Aqueduct redo plans *** Paterson "Having Nightmares About the Senate" (NY Magazine)

Caused New York's Economic Melt Down The End Of Wall Street: The Wall Street Journal's VIDEO *** 2ND AVE. SUBWAY BIZ NIGHTMARE *** Shocker: New Yorkers pay highest power bills in U.S. 'REAL' HAMPTONS PAIN *** Construction Dismal for First Quarter, Jumped in May *** Feds: Second avenue subway could be delayed to 2018

New York's Tammany Hall Election Law A Felon with CoattailsMiguel Martinez pleaded guilty to felony charges, resigned from City Council and faces years in prison. But his closest advisors still get to help pick his successor.

*** Judge Finds Racial Bias in Fire Dept. Recruiting

New York’s Phantom Government Gov. David Paterson should sign a bill that would finally require transparency and accountability from New York’s quasi-public authorities.

Washington Obama Moves to Reclaim the Debate on Health Care *** Biden Warns of More ‘Sacrifice’ in Afghanistan *** Gun Amendment Supporters Backed by NRA Donations *** JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Donates Serious Cash to Democrats

National Budget cuts threaten LAFD response time (LA Times)

International Report: Bin Laden's Son Killed

Wall Street GE WINS EXIT FROM RESCUE *** Can Citi Ever Turn It Around? (Time) ***
Weekly Jobless Claims Rise

Media New York Times Reports $39.1 Million 2Q Profit