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Concerns over drug companies’ political donations

March 10, 2009 by  

Concerns over drug companies' political donationsConsumer 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."

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  • s c mailen, jr.

    How long will it take people to understand that their elected representatives put money and career politics over our health? These pro$titute$ gave us the highest drug costs in the WORLD! We’re supposed to think that America will decline and suffer if these predators are no longer in Washington? It’s bad enough that people don’t understand that they’ve been sold out. Keeping these vermin in office amounts to a formal surrender of the American people to criminal intent. ARE AMERICANS REALLY THAT S T U P I D?

    • Tess Falasco

      Yes, Americans are that stupid! Lock and load and read the 2nd amendment! We’re sick and tired of these whores!

    • physics4u

      Yes they are that stupid, as they made perfectly clear last November.

  • Bob Livingston

    It is certainly not news that drug companies fund politicians to get what they want. Health care in America is obviously a commercial enterprise with a lot of money flowing and very little health care.

    It is all such a fraud with such a small amount of money that goes to promote true health care in America.

    • phyllis Jacksoon

      When you can’t compete with politicians or HMO money or lawyers the ones fighting for healthcare never win.Politicians continue to give power to everyone except the people that have to spend all of their money on healthcare. My sister couldn’t get her right to treatment because she spoke against a HMO. the truth cost her life. Our family couldn’t find any help to fight our problem.

  • Carol Fouse

    Sounds like Baucus should be sued for conflict of interest.

  • Larry A. Hollis

    We hear what the Democrates getting from these Drug Company and HMO, Insurance Companys, let us hear and see what the Republicans are getting!!! I am sich and tired of the one way finger pointing!! This should make every Citizen in this country; demaind the lobbies be thrown out !! and make it a crime for a Representative to recieve any form of gifts from any source!!! They know when they run for an office what the pay is, and if they can’t live on that income, stay home and let a person that can and well do the job! We will never get thus thugs, to pass a law to do away with Lobbyist. (((LAWYERS))) We would not need them, if it wasn’t for another ((( Lawyer))) !!!!!

    • Becky

      Larry, those who are in power always get the most. When the Republicans were in power, all those who are now making donations to Democrats made donations to the Republicans. It is time that controls be placed on all donations so that those who receive donations are not allowed to sponsor or vote on policies which relate to those who have given large donations.

      • captainjohann

        The present system suits the LAWYERS who control American health care system insttead of Doctors and patients. For example a person can have head ache due to stress,migraine,stomach upset,brain tumour,eye problem etc etc.But if a honest doctor thinks it is stree and treats it as such and if one in million case bturns out to be brain tumour, then lawyers jum in.To save themselves Doctors insure for litigation problem.The cost of health care mutiplies with both patients and doctors having insurance which actually goes to lawyers.This viscious cycle has to be broken.
        Ever greening of molecules,Generic molecules costing so less but FDA which gets its money from drug multinationals will not allow them and so costs go up.
        Americans must fight for honest health care. It helps the world.

    • H. A. Seminetta

      With all due repsect to everyone,that is why in my opionio we need to have TERM LIMITS for these people. I cannot believe how some of these representatives are elected term after term after term. Some of these guys have been in for so long, they don’t even remember how or when the got elected.

    • Robert

      I agree with you Larry. I think that till all of this money stuff is cleared up we should make them limit their time in office to 2 years. Then i have heard that there is not to be any lawyer running for Office in DC>


    Looks like the new term for our representative government will include the Congressional Politburo Sluts as a continuing part of the venue.

    These guys think Capitalism has a bad name………

  • Paul Trood

    The entire system is flawed. In Australia where I live if for example the Health Minister received moneys (disclosed) from either the Insurance industry or the Drug companies he would be sacked immediately. It is called bribery. That’s not to say brown paper bags don’t change hands, but if it is a disclosed payment he/she is gone, end of story and political career.
    This is what is needed in the U.S.

  • Larry A. Hollis

    As all can see our system has gone to hell in a ( Brown Bag ) loaded with lobbyest Pay- Ola, All can see, Maybe 80% of them were ((( Lawyers))) before they got this Job for Life. GUESS WHAT? Maybe this is why our country is in the shape it is, (((Crocked Lawyers))) looking after their fellow crocked friends and themselfs!!! I like to clear all, NOT ALL LAWYERS ARE CROCKS!! But I like to see some good Lawyers, that will stand up and help clean this country of these scumbs!!

  • http://internetexplorer Mike Flanagan

    Healthcare will become a reality, under Obama’s watch

    • N. J. Stone

      Don’t Hold your breath!! A friend of mine was the acting head of the local health Dept. attended a required meeting . It was a Dr. from up North holding the seminar. From what he told the group anyone over the age of 56 will not be treated, those with cronic conditions; diabetes, asthma,high blood pressure, etc. you get the drift will NOT be treated! An actuary formula will be used: the cost of treatment,based on your age, and how many GOOD years suppossedly you have left. If the cost is too high, tough s–t! It will be RATIONED health care and seniors and those with chronic conditions will suffer! I’m wondering if those who will reep the benefits of this new system will only be black and Hispanic?? The only moneymakers in this new system will be the UNDERTAKERS!!!

      • Carlo

        Your comment is interesting in that perhaps this is how Obama plans to fix Social Security.

        The US healthcare system has done such a good job of extending lifespans that the Social Security system was designed when average lifespan was less than 65 years – it was designed to pay a person no more than a few years. Now that the average lifespan is much longer and SS payouts outweigh its income, what is the best way fix it? Control healthcare so that the average lifespan is reduced back down to a level that Social Security can support.

        Anyone remember the movie Logan’s Run?

        • http://Personallibertydigest Hoosier Patriot

          Logan’s Run is a correct statement. I attended one of OBAMA’S Health Forum’s. The people that support OBAMA are clueless sheep that would say and do anything for their leader. The kumbaya bunch. However when I questioned their Supreme Commander, I was told 4 times to shut up. I quess having an IQ and a functioning brain, disqualified me from being “one of the followers II asked what is in the health care plan? The person in charge didn’t know. Just tell people these three items. Affordable healthcare for every one. When I called his plan universal one payer healthcare, she informed me even though that’s what they want, we are not supposed to tell anyone. One payer system means a hugh paycut for any of us peons working in healthcare,ie nurses, etc….She confirmed that view by saying it was time for Drs to make more than nurses when they both graduate from school. Little does she know Drs won’t make any money either. We are in trouble folks. Attend a tea party and get people to vote out these clowns in 2010.

  • Mung

    Sad thing.

  • Larry A. Hollis

    I know they got to be some honest, hard working Lawyers in this country, some where!!! I Guess ???? If you look around at the mess (Some) of these bumbs have caused, it makes me sick. You can bet, these bumbs will never cut their throats; voting forTerm Limits. Our country has been thrown to hell in a hand – bag by these GREEDY SCUM BAGS. ( If You Are A Lawyer, If the shoe fits ware it, and if not you are one in a few, ) THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!! for being honest to your clients and to the people! You stand Tall!!!

  • R.G. Florido

    Americans are not stupid…at least not what one might conclude from reading these postings. However, one might conclude from these postings that many Americans are angry. If after we post our views in these forums, we channel the anger towards our elected officials, we might help change the course on which our great nation is heading. We are a diverse nation, but its people always united in a crisis. This is yet another crisis that will united us. Keep the faith. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  • Marlene B.

    Sign Petition To Stop Television Prescription Drug Ads

    Published by Marlene B. on Mar 18, 2009
    Category: Health
    Region: GLOBAL
    Target: U.S. Congress, FCC, FDA, European Commission, EMEA

    Background (Preamble):
    Statistics prove prescription drugs are 16,400% more deadly than terrorists. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 1998, a report finds that prescription drugs kill about 106,000 Americans each year – that’s three times as many as are killed by automobiles—making prescription drug death the fourth leading killer after heart disease, cancer and stroke.

    Last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association puts death from all drugs, illegal and prescription, second only behind car accidents as a cause of death.

    The rise in deaths coincides with the direct marketing of prescription medication to the public. Prescription drug sales have soared nearly 500 percent since 1990.

    The pharmaceutical industry is a multi-trillion dollar business. Companies spend billions on advertising and promotions for prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies claim their drug ads are “educational” to the public. The public seems to genuinely believe that drugs advertised on TV are safe, in spite of the plethora of side effects listed. Many of these drugs have proven deadly.

    Every day it’s estimated 2,500 teens abuse a prescription pain killer for the first time.

    The White House Office of National Drug Control policy had been planning to unveil an ad campaign to target prescription drug abuse by teens. It is time to stop this form of advertising by the pharmaceutical companies.
    We, the undersigned, request that Congress, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), the European Commission, EMEA (European Medicines Agency) stop all television advertising of prescription drugs.

  • Buckeye8

    Just go back to 2000 and 2004 when the Bush Adm. was backed by the drug and insurance companies. Why are both parties crying wolf now about run away prices for drugs and insurance which is worthless. Remember medicare part D, Bush said you cannot shop around for lower drug prices and the republican congress praised him as they were all on the take.

  • Michael Warhurst

    In Canada MP’s (members of Parliament) must vote with their parties most of the time and specially on important money items. If they do not and the governing party loses such a vote there will be consequences – an immediate election. MP’s caucus and decide by democratic vote within their caucus whether policies/laws should be implemented/passed or not and each member can express any opinion they like but must vote with the caucus majority in Parliament.
    Because of this system of party solidarity it is virtually impossible to ‘pay-off’ a few MP’s to purchase the failure of any bill before Parliament or Committee. Of course the Conservative party is already bought and sold by big business so they are an obvious but normally controllable exception as they need no further inducement to genuflect to big business interests.
    While there are bagmen in Ottawa they tend to be very few and have a ‘special’ personal relationship with senior Conservative politicians. These bagmen do not need to pay off their elected friends but they do charge for ‘access’ – so it is the ‘connected’ bagmen that get paid off not the politicians directly. A problem but a much smaller one and much easier to deal with.
    Except when Conservatives are in power ,we do not have these huge omnibus bills that become necessary in the American Congress so that every independently voting Congress person can earn his/her bribe and include provisions or whatever was paid for by the lobbyist bagmen.

  • N. J. Stone

    Its too bad the so called majority can’t face the music as to what is happening in this country! The AARP supported Obama, and I wondering if they are re-thinking their policy. Healthcare will be RATIONED, and those of us on S/S will have such high taxes on our little income we won’t be able to even EAT much less afford our meds!

  • Gatorman770

    The reason some Congressman and Premier Obama raise so much hech about the oil companies making 8 to 9 % profits, but never seem to mind that the pharmaceutical industry and beverage industries make a obscene 18 to 19 % profit…..just follow the political donation trail!

  • http://PersonalLiberty Antonio Madera

    I am with Marlene B. … We need to stop these TV ads that tell the patient to ask
    there doctor if this or that they saw on TV was right for them. If you had a good doctor you wouldnt have to ask. GET A NEW DOCTOR.. By asking the doctor if its right for you, the doctor is intimadated and almost compeled to write a note for the poison.
    And all these ads for erectile disfuntion are sickening.. If your having a problem you
    should talk to your doctor about it and not listen to some TV idiot with a slick looking
    chick hanging on him. My daughter in law is a nurse and comes home every day with
    freebies from pharmicutical sales types. There even using these sharp chicks to
    sell there pills to the doctors.

  • Ken Rosenlund

    The present administration campaigned on the asurement that there would be no Lobbyists and there would be a clean government with this administration. We have not seen this in the past 100 days but there is still a little hope I would think. (I should know better)

    If this were done in private industry there would be a firing, maybe a law suite and possible prison time. It is time to clean house and flush the crooks out into the street and expose them for what they do and are. If they are not value added then they are liability. Stop the hemorrhaging and spending and get to the point. Do what you have been elected to do, the will of the people.

  • Mia Smith

    I am a RN for many years. I’ve watched as our healthcare has eroded – first by HMO’s
    and now by the national healthcare proposal – it’s scary. They are voting IN only GMO
    (Frankenfoods) – which are not healthy – and require more bug spray and weed killer and then they wonder where the bees went? They are outlawing natural health pproducts – herbs & vitamins that keep us healthy… All people in this country get hhealthcare…in the Emergency Room, we treat everyone…the only difference is if you aare an American, you get a bill – but if poor, you don’t pay it. The best care goes to the illegals. They don’t have an HMO that puts limits on treatment.

    If you are in Europe – on national healthcare (been there too) you get ‘care’. If you are too young, too old, too sick – you get to go home or hospital – put on ‘drugs’ and let to die… Don’t waste money on old or young or too sick persons there… Long wait for surgery or other care – unless you are rich and can buy your own ‘supplemental’ care – then you can choose your private Doc and get great care! (kind of a Caste system?)

    We already have ‘socialized medicine’ here. It’s in the form of clinics, grants, medical/medicare and ER… They just want to formalize the system to get more tax dollars for those who don’t pay – and another layer of beurocracy so the Feds will then control healthcare… and yes, it will be rationed – it already is in some places by the insurance companies… I just don’t understand why we would want to emulate a system that doesn’t work there… why would they think it should work here?

    WE need to keep our health freedom – and our right to alternative medicines… They are voting on it soon, if not already. It will be illegal to have an herb garden soon.
    Check on CODEX Ammendment, or the Health Freedom website if you care…

  • Rick Shea

    I have created a phrase that perfectly describes the Obama administration and the majority leaders of Congress: “MASTERS OF THE ART OF DUPLICITY”. These people speak and campaign one way, and then legislate and vote the opposite.
    Do the phrases 95% of the people will receive a tax cut, My administration will be the most transparent in history, I will not allow any lobbyists to work for me, ad infinitum sound familiar?
    Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, etc. have absolutely no credibility with my family or my associates. I find a load of irony in the new Democratic health proposals, which they claim are going to address wellness and prevention. I will believe it when I see it, especially considering how entrenched they are in the medical and pharmaceutical lobby.

    • http://NA Dorris

      I am in agreement with every thing you say,but you left out not many people (few exceptions)that go into Politicts are honest.reguardless of parties.they all lie until the get into office then the truth comes out, they can’t back up their promises.
      And they forget we can fire them , like the names you mention needs PINK slips given as soon as they can be delivered.
      Liked your comment.

  • http://NA Dorris

    Glad to see TRUTH come out I have known this was happening for some time. I have a dear friend that use to work for a Pharm. co and he told me stories like this. So I am glad to see people having access to the truth.I wrote to several senators to let them know we are not stupid out here and every thing they do while they are working for us should be made clear.
    But we know that don’t happen , there are very few GOV. Employee’s that know what Honesty means.

    Thanks ,

  • http://NA Dorris

    One more comment from me, NOTHING will change how we feel ,what we don’t like ,what we fear, writing isn’t the answer the people have to find a way to have open forum with our so called leaders. Any suggestions?If you think they read these comments? NO.A lot of smart people out here come up with something.
    This is to every body writting .

  • djbltrnmd

    Universal Healthcare was intitiated in the US by FDR. Edwin Witte, economics prof at U of Wisconsin was the author of the original social security bill that contained both old age insurance and single payer universal health. Economics has been the selling point of U.H., but the political goal is control of subjects in a dictatorship. The chief ethicist of the Nuremburg trials laid the blame for the Nazi atrocities at the feet of the doctors acting under the universal health plan of Germany that was instituted in 1880 by Kaiser Wilhelm with Marxist goals. The universal healthcare program of Nazi Germany was the conduit for the elimination of political dissidents and later facilitated the so-called research ( dropping subjects into the North Sea to determine how long a down flyer might live ) and therapy, ( submitting anti-government subjects to psychiatric diagnosis – then subjecting them to terminal care ). It might not be too bad if the intentions of the present regime were interested in the health of the nation, but their record of multi-million sanctioned abortions makes one wonder. The basis for the ecology movement has been the theory that population growth will exceed the worlds ability to sustain a food supply, so population must be controlled, the engine for abortion and birth control. The current birthrates in western societies has dropped below the replacement rate, so their program seems to be working.

  • Dennis Speer

    Free market supporters must allow HMO’s and Big Pharm to make as much as possible and should never complain or they prove themselves hypocrites.
    What Free Market supporters fail to realize is that there is no free market.
    Everyone of us is subsidized by the Federally installed interstate highway system which makes it possible for transport of goods at less than the full cost of said transport.
    Ike had our freeways built to transport tanks and troops not trucks full of throw away plastic junk made in Taiwan.
    Perot ran saying no more government handouts and had built his fortune on sweetheart contracts with the government.
    As for Doctors having to pay big malpractice insurance fees. That comes from the few instances of large awards to patient-victims. Follow up on those multi-million dollar jury awards and you will find that the judges typically lower the award dramatically. Funny how the sanctity of a jury’s decision is tossed aside when big insurance companies may have to pay out.
    Doc’s get such huge judgements against them because the public is mad at them, partially because they keep covering up each other’s catastrophes. If doctors would name names of those doc’s they thought were incompetent the public would not look at them as a conspiracy of white coats protecting each other. The only way we can strike back at them is through large judgements.
    We could try some regulation, which is a dirty word for many but does mean most of our food and water is safe and guns sold don’t blow up in our hands when we first fire them. Maybe take some of the life essentials like health care and limit them to what historically was considered reasonable profit, say 10%. BTW- if the government is so inefficient why is Medicare operating with about a 5% administrative overhead and private managed health system runs at 25% administrative overhead?
    My grandfather, Jerry Voorhis, was condemned for legislation he put through limiting war materials producers to 10% profit back in the 30′s. That ended up repealed when factories would not gear up for the war effort until it was changed. Of course they ended up with a cost plus percentage deal and then my father watched as banded loads of plywood for building landing craft were unloaded off the truck from the mill and dumped onto a bonfire, thus increasing the “costs” and thereby increasing the profits.

  • SuzieD

    Congratulations to some of the smartest Americans I have ever read. Obama and his Senate and House cronies will have us digging out for 10-15 years and that is assuming we can rid ourselves of this strangle hold and repair the laws fast enough. At 55 my insurance company cancelled my health care policy stating I was past the “grace period”. A letter I never received and a policy we had paid for 15 or more years, extending the deductible to $10,000 before the company would pay a dime. Since then we have moved to Europe to get care and have driven to Mexico to maintain blood pressure meds, Lipitor and Namenda for Alzheimer’s the VA won’t cover because the brain is not damaged enough. The State gave lip service then transferred the agent studying the case out. The Senator (Republican) never bothered to answer my letter. When I approached a talk show host for help I was “whining and complaining”. Now the truth becomes apparent. Graft by our elected officials. Is it any wonder almost NONE of them have a mortgage. If only the rest of us were as lucky.

  • Marilyn

    Sad situation. There is no doubt our health care system needs work, not lip service from politicians. But to completely overhaul and have a government run system would be THE END for America. We have spent trillions already that we don’t have – this next move to pay for government run healthcare would surely bankrupt us and be the end of freedom.

    Want proof? Look at how government runs the post office, look at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac – put the government at the top of the list of corruption and they are going to oversee Wallstreet corruption? Are you kidding? These clowns are going to run our healthcare?

    I am 55 years old and know that us “baby boomers” will pay a dear price as we will be the first ones to begin rationed care.



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