Health firms pour millions into campaign funds
Gary Martin, Hearst Washington Bureau
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Special interest groups with a stake in the outcome of health care reform are funneling millions of dollars into political campaign coffers as Congress returns from recess next week after a month of contentious town hall meetings.
Insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical firms are among contributors that have donated more than $15.3 million so far this year to House and Senate lawmakers, as well as to potential challengers, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics of data reported to the Federal Election Commission.
"If this issue becomes more politicized, it will have a greater impact than we are currently seeing," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director for the watchdog group in Washington that tracks money in the political system.
For the first time since 1992, Democrats have been the largest recipients of health care special interest contributions. Most of the money - $13.7 million - is going to Democratic and Republican incumbents.
"Democrats are doing well," Krumholz said. "They are in the majority."
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