Senator Mary Landrieu's refusal to embrace a public option as an integral piece of any substantive healthcare reform effort has had many of us fuming this week.
Ryan at Kingfish inferred that one reason Senator Landrieu might be so quick to sell out the working families of Louisiana might be that she has become beholden to the insurance interests that gave over $600,000 to her reelection campaign.
But it's actually much worse than that. The Public Campaign Action Fund, a non-partisan non-profit group devoted to strengthening campaign finance laws, has produced a far more depressing account of Mary Landrieu's ties to the private healthcare industry through campaign finance and the incestuous exchange of staffers.
Not good, Senator. Louisianians need serious healthcare reform. A public option is critical for reducing costs. This state has one of the highest percentages of uninsured in the country. It is shameful for the Senator to let her loyalties to sickness profiteers trump her responsibilities to the people of this state.
From the Public Campaign Action Fund:
Sen. Landrieu has depended on the insurance and health care industries to fund her campaigns for public office
- According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. Landrieu has raised $1,668,693 from health care and insurance interests throughout her federal political career.
- Sen. Landrieu has received substantial contributions throught her career from leading health care industries, including HMOs and pharmaceutical companies:
Health Professionals $600,366 Insurance $376,731 Hospitals/Nursing Homes $266,645 Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $228,446 Health Services/HMOs $160,005
- Sen. Landrieu has also received $677,014 from registered lobbyists and their political action committees throughout her career.
- Sen. Landrieu has received large contributions from some of the largest companies and groups in the health care and insurance industries.
Tenet Healthcare $26,000 American Optometric Association $25,500 GlaxoSmithKline $25,000 American Hospital Association $23,000 Amgen $21,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield $20,479
- Sen. Landrieu’s leadership political action committee, Jazz PAC, has received significant contributions from the health care industry throughout her career.
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $13,000 Health Professionals $10,500 Hospitals/Nursing Homes $6,000
- Jazz PAC has also received $29,000 from registered lobbyists and their political action committees
- According to the Sunlight Foundation’s Political Party Time website, a number of health care lobbyists hosted a $2000/$1000 fundraising reception for Sen. Landrieu on July 28, 2008. The lobbyist hosts (and clients) included: Nicole Venable of McAllister & Quinn (Novartis, SERMO), and numerous lobbyists from the Chamber of Commerce.
Former staffers for Sen. Landrieu have made lucrative careers as lobbyists for the health care industry and other major business interests
- Donna Denison, a former staffer for Sen. Landrieu, is vice president with lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates. The firm’s first quarter 2009 clients (and fees) include: BJC Healthcare ($60,000), Fairview Hospital and Healthcare Services ($80,000), and Memorial Healthcare System ($70,000).
- Jeffrey Wiener, a former legislative assistant for Sen. Landrieu, is a lobbyist with Fabiani & Company. The firm’s first quarter 2009 clients (and fees) include: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals ($50,000), Lundbeck Research ($100,000), and Trius Therapeutics ($60,000).
- Jason Mathews, Sen. Landrieu’s former chief of staff, is director of congressional affairs with the Chamber of Commerce.
She has got to hear from us.
Call her in D.C. at (202)224-5824.
Call her in New Orleans at (504) 589-2427.