Consumer Watchdog (CS) has revealed that politicians in Washington have received multimillion dollar donations from drug and health insurance companies.
According to CS, a nonpartisan and non-profit organization, the health industry contributed more than $5 million to the top 10 recipients in Congress during the last two election campaigns.
The organization’s breakdown shows that those recipients received $2.2 million from health insurers and $3.3 million from drug manufacturers.
Altogether, health insurers and drug manufacturers have contributed more than $24 million to the current members of the Senate and House of Representatives since 2005.
The top recipient is democratic Senator Max Baucus, a leading proponent of health care reform and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He received $183,750 from health insurance companies and $229,020 from drug companies.
"When the engineer of the health care reform train is getting more fuel from the HMOs and drug companies that any other Democrat on Capitol Hill, you have to wonder who is really driving the train and whether average Americans will be tied to the tracks," says Carmen Balber, Director of Consumer Watchdog’s Washington D.C. office.
She adds, "HMO and drug company money will sour the President’s plan for affordable, accessible health care if these industries’ backers on Capitol Hill allow their financial interests to drive the debate."