Friday, July 24, 2009

Haiku 072409

wait for the sunset
blackbirds watch

Recently, we read the following:

Washington Post: “Industry Cash Flowed To Drafters of Reform” by Dan Eggen

“As liberal protesters marched outside, Sen. Max Baucus sat down inside a San Francisco mansion for a dinner of chicken cordon bleu and a discussion of landmark health-care legislation under consideration by his Senate Finance Committee.

"At the table on May 26 were about 20 donors willing to fork over $10,000 or more to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, including executives of major insurance companies, hospitals and other health-care firms….

“As his committee has taken center stage in the battle over health-care reform, Chairman Baucus (D-Mont.) has emerged as a leading recipient of Senate campaign contributions from the hospitals, insurers and other medical interest groups hoping to shape the legislation to their advantage. Health-related companies and their employees gave Baucus's political committees nearly $1.5 million in 2007 and 2008, when he began holding hearings and making preparations for this year's reform debate….

“Top out-of-state corporate contributors included Schering-Plough, New York Life Insurance, Amgen, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield; individual executives such as Richard T. Clark, chief executive and president of drugmaker Merck, have also made regular donations. Most of these companies, particularly major insurers, strongly oppose a public insurance option, which is favored by President Obama and top House Democrats but has not received support from Baucus's committee….

“Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the Public Citizen advocacy group, said the continued fundraising by Baucus during the health-care debate is ‘very troubling…’

“During an interview earlier this year with the Missoulian newspaper, Baucus said that ‘no one gets special treatment.’ He added: ‘Your word is your bond back there.’ “

And we thought:

…. Sen. Baucus’ word may be his bond, but he appears to be bonding with the wrong crowd. He’s playing a dangerous game with health care and health care-related firms and lobbyists who obviously have started a death watch over genuine health care reform legislation. It’s big-money politics as usual.

Who really cares about the health care needs of the poor, the middle class, the old and the children? It doesn't look like Sen. Baucus is one of them….

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