Blood Money: Blue Dogs and the Medical-Industrial Complex.

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Obama Administration

Dan Eggen writes for the Washington Post that the Blue Dogs are reaping a bounty of campaign cash from the medical-industrial complex.

For example, five days after Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas announced he and the other Blue Dogs were unhappy about the health care bill, “Ross was the guest of honor at a special ‘health-care industry reception,’ one of at least seven fundraisers for the Arkansas lawmaker held by health-care companies or their lobbyists this year, according to publicly available invitations,” Eggen writes.

[T]he group has set a record pace for fundraising this year through its political action committee, surpassing other congressional leadership PACs in collecting more than $1.1 million through June. More than half the money came from the health-care, insurance and financial services industries, marking a notable surge in donations from those sectors compared with earlier years, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity.

Let’s see, what’s the number of Americans who die every year because they lacked health care? Somewhere between 18,000 and 20,000, last I heard. I suspect that’s a low estimate. Money taken from the health insurance industry to block health care reform is blood money. There is no other way to look at it.

Lot’s of people are just plain being ground down for lack of decent health care. They don’t necessarily die prematurely, but they suffer more health care problems than they should.

There was an article in Roll Call recently that deserves more attention. Atul Grover (chief advocacy officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges) and Michael Johns (chancellor at Emory University) noted that states whose citizens have the least access to health care also have the highest Medicare costs.

In Louisiana and Mississippi, where poverty rates are 19 percent and 21 percent respectively, both states spend less on health care per capita than the U.S. average, while spending more on Medicare beneficiaries than the U.S. average of $7,439.

Why is it then that the health of citizens in these two state lags far behind the nation as a whole? Could it be that once given health insurance and other benefits — by way of reaching the dual entitlements of Medicare and Social Security — when they turn 65 years of age, Louisianans and Mississippians must eventually pay a heavier price for a lifetime of neglected health needs?

Also,

Babies in all three states [Alabama, Mississippi and Texas] have among the lowest life expectancy at birth — not because of what’s invested at the age of 65 and beyond, but rather because of what is not invested in children and young adults all of their lives.

Of course, the state legislatures of those states never tire of finding ways to “save” babies by blocking access to abortion.

See also Joe Conason, “Blue dogs Heel When Lobbyists Whistle.”

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 31, 2009 @9:27 am

    “Ross was the guest of honor at a special ‘health-care industry reception,…”

    One might think that it would appear to be gauche to be the guest of honor at such a function while you’re supposedly debating health-care reform legislation.
    But then one would underestimate the stupidity and greed or “our” representatives. Why, that would be like trying to create legislation focusing on sexual predator’s while texting male Congressional pages about the size of their unit’s. Oh, yeah, I forgot, that been done…
    Hypocricy knows no party. And neither do any of the 7 deadly sins.
    Here, btw, are the 7 deadly sins: Lust”, “Gluttony”, “Greed”, “Sloth”, “Wrath”, “Envy”, and “Pride”.
    For a parlour game at your next party, see how many of those apply to your particular representative(s). You have to do a shot for EACH one that applies. Please be responsible though, and have designated driver’s, or cabs waiting. You might want to have EMS on standby with a stomach-pump, too – just in case.

    Cast out the corporatist’s. From each party.

  2. moonbat  •  Jul 31, 2009 @3:00 pm

    What are they doing in the Democratic Party?

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 31, 2009 @3:26 pm

    moonbat,
    They’re taking money from their corporate pimps to run again for office as Democrats. You know, to help the people…

  4. buckyblue  •  Jul 31, 2009 @8:39 pm

    I’m thinking the Articles of Confederation maybe weren’t such a bad idea. That way, those of us in Sanity Land can dump all of the dumb pimps for money that make up a large portion of the representatives, that block any type of reasonable legislation. WI is a medium state with good education; I’d like to try it on our own. A decent argument can be made that the Constitutional Convention did not have the authority to make the changes they did; it makes more sense than the birther arguments, at any rate.

  5. joanr16  •  Jul 31, 2009 @10:26 pm

    If I had to do shots for Ben Nelson’s sins, I’d get alcohol poisoning. Good thing I haz health insurance.

    I’m just barely, sorta-kinda, starting to see things appear in the MSM about these unholy money connections between the anti-reformers (both parties) and the health insurance/medical-industrial lobby. This information needs to be shouted out, plastered over every available surface in big, boldface type, until the whole country’s talking about it. Forget beer summits and MJ’s crooked doctor; we all need to be talking about Mike Ross’s payola. We need to be talking about every one of those weasels taking the lobby’s money and the damage they are doing in return for it.

  6. moonbat  •  Jul 31, 2009 @11:34 pm

    joanr, you will love this. Do play the video.

  7. Swami  •  Aug 1, 2009 @12:22 am

    joanr16.. Here’s a cartoon that appeared in the local beacon on 7/31/09. It seems that the word is getting out.

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2467/3776334179_8bb2990934_b.jpg



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