Following the Money

Open Secrets on where healthcare industry political donations go:

Other key 2012 election contributors within the industry included the Cooperative of American Physicians, the American Dental Association, and the American Medical Association. The top recipient of health professional contributions was GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who received nearly $13 million, followed by President Barack Obama, who received nearly $11 million. The industry favored Republicans over Democrats in contributions as it has in the past — 57 percent of contributions went to Republicans whereas 43 percent went to Democrats….

The industry’s top concern so far in 2013 remains the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, especially as it pertains to physician pay.

Talking Points Memo:

GOP leaders intend to vote on legislation this week, aides say, to delay the individual mandate in order to fund a “doc fix” that avoids a 24 percent pay cut to physicians under Medicare — which will automatically take effect on April 1 unless Congress acts. Inaction would disrupt the health care system, in part by causing many doctors to stop accepting Medicare patients.

If I was a Democratic strategist, my only comment on this proposal would be do we want to hold the vote on Tuesday or Wednesday in order to give the public relations and more importantly the donor relations shops enough time to get their talking points together.

From a Republican point of view, it is a stupid proposal as it goes nowhere while pissing off a major donor base that will swing its money to protect its interests.

68 replies
  1. 1
    Belafon says:

    So, delay something that brings money in to pay for something that costs us?

  2. 2
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I’m sure those those donors will get over it. Sure, the GOP may be trying to fuck everything up, but those doctors the GOP is trying to screw will be more than happy to keep giving the GOP their money. The GOP might be screwing with their wallets, but Obama has yet to apologize for his Unforgivable Blackness, so the beatings will continue.

  3. 3
    karen says:

    Or they’ll just blame the black President. Of course.

  4. 4
    Punchy says:

    Do the AMA and ADA support the GOP b/c they think Republicans have better health care and dental care strategies, or because their members are almost without exception <1%ers who abhor taxes and blahs?

    IOW, do they contribute to support their profession or their members? Cuz I cannot for the life of me see how GOP positions on national hearth and dental care would be better than the ACA. This leads me to beleve they support the latter.

  5. 5
    askew says:

    The GOP has pretty much lost all political skill in their quest to deny Obama a win on anything so I expect them to follow through on this nonsense. Luckily, the media will blame both sides and Dem voters will stay home in the midterm so the GOP will pick-up seats. Frustrating to see that no matter how crazy they get it doesn’t hurt them it won’t be enough for them to lose the House. That means Obama’s last 2 years in office are going to be pretty pointless.

  6. 6
    NonyNony says:

    If they go through with this, then any Democrat running for the House that doesn’t take this vote and shove it in the faces of every senior and every doctor in his/her district is an idiot.

    “Jim Smith voted to cut Medicare payments to doctors. Why does Jim Smith hate our seniors? Why does Jim Smith want to see our seniors die without medical treatment? Why does Jim Smith hate our doctors? Amy Jones loves doctors, and volunteers at the local senior center. She knows how valuable good medical care is to our senior community. Vote Amy Jones! She doesn’t hate seniors like Jim Smith does!”

  7. 7
    SatanicPanic says:

    Doctors are just glorified mechanics. Part of the appeal of single payer would be seeing all their payments unilaterally reduced.

    (can you guess how my last visit to the hospital was?)

  8. 8
    Joel says:

    From my experience with doctors, they 1) realize that they are overcompensated to some degree and 2) don’t trust the government not to cut their paychecks.

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    @Punchy:

    Do the AMA and ADA support the GOP b/c they think Republicans have better health care and dental care strategies, or because their members are almost without exception <1%ers who abhor taxes and blahs?

    Membership in the AMA is steadily decreasing among doctors. Here’s an article on it from 2011:

    In the early 1950s, about 75% of US physicians were AMA members. That percentage has steadily decreased over the years. In June, at the annual meeting of its policy-making body, the House of Delegates, the AMA announced that it lost another 12 000 members last year.

    That brings total membership below 216 000. Up to a third of those members don’t pay the full $420 annual dues, including medical students and residents. Not counting those members, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15% of practising US doctors now belong to the AMA.

    I don’t know if the remaining doctors in the AMA are the rich ones or what. The young ones coming up aren’t all that rich. And they aren’t all white either. Medical schools aim for a mix of backgrounds, genders, races and ethnicities in each class.

    A lot of doctors aren’t all that wealthy, although they certainly aren’t poor. They often come out of college and medical school with huge loans and the salaries paid to residents aren’t very high. If they specialize, they usually have to do a fellowship, so by the time they’re actually starting in their first real job, they are close to 30.

    It’s a big issue for doctors and for medical students choosing careers. We need generalists–more GPs, Internal Medicine docs, Family Practice, etc.–but those jobs don’t pay as well. When you’re staring down $100,000 or more worth of loans, a specialist job paying a lot more looks a lot more enticing.

  10. 10
    jl says:

    @Punchy:

    The AMA has, IMHO, a bit of a corruption problem, because it is both a professional association pursuing high minded scientific goals, and an industry trade association that has in the past been quite ruthless in pursuing what it perceives as the interests of MDs as very well paid independent professionals.

    In the past, this has included really outrageous attempts at restraint of trade, often aimed at doctors who had a different vision for the profession, or simply wanted to operate under a different business model. Any group of doctors who wanted to set up prepaid group practices could count on lawsuits and interference from the AMA. I think a good case can be made that the AMA has been captured by specialist docs, who are the highest paid doctors in the world. Only the Netherlands comes close, but the ratio of specialists to primary care docs in the Netherlands is much much lower than in the U.S. and the Dutch specialists do not have nearly the influence that their counterparts do in the U.S.

    AMA continues its pursuit of restraint of trade. They continue to pull stunts to restrict the supply of MDs in the U.S. The latest is to set up bizarre rules for residencies to make it harder for anyone getting a medical degree outside of the U.S. to obtain a residency.

    I deal with many different types of professional students, and the medical students tend to view the AMA as corrupt greedy old money bags, and more and more are deciding to join alternative medical associations. But I have no idea what impact this will have in the short run. There is certainly a lot of resentment among people going into primary care, a field that is not particularly high paid anymore, if you consider the costs and years of training required at great expense, either in terms of cost of schooling or provision of professional services at far below market value.

    So, I think a lot of older and influential docs, especially specialists have a mindset that is in tune with GOP economic mythology. It is my understanding that, Newt Gingrich basically told the AMA in the late 1990s that they were a bunch of over paid tradesmen who had no place at the decision making table, and they would shut up and do what the money people told them. One would think such treatment would have made an impression, but I guess it hasn’t.

    Might be some docs here with a different view.

    The set up is different in some other countries, where different groups handle the scientific issues and pure industry interest issues. Which I think is refreshing compared to what we have in the U.S.

  11. 11
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Wait, you’re suggesting that the AMA is more interested in the President’s race than their own pocketbooks?

    As the kids say, LOL.

  12. 12
    jamick says:

    getting rid of the doc fix is a good idea. I’m glad at least one of the parties is getting serious about controlling healthcare costs.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The ni*CLANG* must be thwarted. At any cost, to include our own souls. He must be stopped!

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Glorious duplicate post! Long live FYWP!

  15. 15
    David M says:

    How does delaying the individual mandate and associated penalty save the government money?

  16. 16
    jl says:

    @jl: A cost of the AMAs attitude, in my view, is that they are are slowly losing their precious high paid independent professional status, and are more and more being pulled into the grinder of modern big money corporate medicine.

    Yeah, sure, some specialty docs can still work an angle to keep their excessive economic rents for a little while longer. Maybe open up a private specialty hospital with cleverly designed scope of practice and methods of case mix selection to get reimbursements at far above their average cost. Or engage in corrupt self-dealing in referrals to labs that the docs own for tests and exams.

    Most docs know very little about economics, or finance. In the curriculum, it is amazing that, at least for places I know, docs get zero training in the finance of their trade, unlike engineers and lawyers. Dentists and pharmacists actually know something about where the money comes and goes, how and why. Most docs are clueless. They are outraged that the profession is no longer an automatic entrance to a wealthy lifestyle, and in my humble experience, for most of them, whining about their fall from grace is their idea of discussing the economics of health care.

    Probably some docs will show up to disagree violently with me. I should add that an ever larger proportion of the profession is breaking free of this mindset, and have educated themselves out of such a narrow, selfish, and in the long run, loser chump view of things.

    Edit: as far as I can tell, the early days of Medicare were the glory years for making bank as a doc, at least on a wide scale.

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OT, but more Noisemax hilarity:

    Ruddy to CNN: Newsmax to Go Beyond Fox

    If Faux is the Marianas Trench of stupid, Noisemax TV will go even deeper than that!

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jl:

    They are outraged that the profession is no longer an automatic entrance to a wealthy lifestyle,

    Apparently, they got their ideas about how this works from the Game of Life, by Milton Bradley.

  19. 19
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor: Human beings never make decisions that go against their better judgement. That’s never happened. Ever. A bunch of Caucasian, predominately male members of the upper class would never make a rash decision based on unjustifiable fear. That’s never, ever fucking happened before. My bad.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    A graduate of the Chicago School of Economics! Huzzah!

  21. 21
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @askew: Sad but true. Looks like the Dems losing the Senate is a foregone conclusion. Sigh.

    I don’t see why it’s so hard for Dems to commit to voting in each and every election. All elections matter — especially those at the local level. We can’t just get excited for Presidential elections anymore.

  22. 22
    Schlemizel says:

    That 57/43 split seems to mirror the way the two parties service their good friends in the insurance industry . . . well, maybe 67/53 but that does not quiet match the donations. Together they support the owners 110% though. Thank pasta for the handful of Dems that actually care about the average schmuck. If not for them we wouldn’t even have the weak tea we got. Half a loaf is better than none but we need to keep pushing for the whole damn thing.

  23. 23
    lol says:

    This is one of Open Secrets *huge* problems. They throw numbers like this out there with no fucking context and are happy to see people run wild with a mistaken impression. They just don’t mean “Doctors and health insurance executives”, they mean every single person employed by a company related to the industry. The receptionist or janitor that gives $25 a month to a candidate gets portrayed as an evil corporate tool buying access by Open Secrets.

    If Open Secrets wanted to provide a useful analysis, they’d filter these data sets to management positions as they’ll give you a much clearer picture of what the people who actually run the companies want to accomplish politically.

    As it is, they’re just coming up with the brilliant analysis that employed people give money to campaigns. How insightful.

  24. 24
    hoodie says:

    @Violet: Looking at this, it seems that the AMA (esp. the leadership) is old, white and male. Its politics are no big surprise.

  25. 25
    Phantom 309 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “The Molten Core of Stupidity!”

  26. 26
    dr. luba says:

    I am an OB/GYN, and work as a hospitalist. I am an outlier–I gave up working in a practice with good pay for better hours and mediocre pay many year ago. (Mind you, mediocre by MD standards. I am still quite comfortable, although I haven’t earned six figures in a few decades.) I see many of the younger docs making similar decisions–family comes first for a lot of them, not career.

    I can’t think of anyone I know who belongs to the AMA. Specialty groups, yes (e.g. ACOG, ACM, etc.). But not the AMA. I suspect some of the older docs might, those who came up in the “golden age of medicine” (as they see it).

    The AMA have had to modify their extreme right wing views to try and attract younger members, and to avoid losing those they have. When they came out against the ACA, they had lots of resignations.

    In my field, in particular, we tend to skew more democratic. We hate the legislators constantly trying to get between us and our patients.

  27. 27
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    @SatanicPanic: Sounds like the next time you break something, you should just call these guys.

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    @hoodie: Thanks for the link. Doesn’t surprise me. Of course the leadership and management of almost everything in this country is older, male and white, so the AMA isn’t really an outlier.

  29. 29
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Punchy:

    or because their members are almost without exception <1%ers who abhor taxes and blahs?

    I think that’s a part of it: in the US, the medical profession’s institutional upper-echelon are all basically bidnessmen and property investors and, let’s be blunt here, there are a lot of grifters and skimmers out there, because medicine is much less of a vocation and more of a money-spinning profession (for those who make that choice) than it is in the rest of the developed world.

  30. 30
    hilts says:

    OT

    Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS News:

    “Attkisson’s own reporting on the Obama administration, which some staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. She is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — which addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the Obama administration.”

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/.....Dw.twitter

  31. 31
    SatanicPanic says:

    @maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor: the skill set’s really not that different.

  32. 32
    Ash Can says:

    @hilts: It sounds like she’ll be a fine addition to the Fox “News” staff.

  33. 33
    rda909 says:

    @hilts: Ooooohhh…Wingnut Welfare Circuit, here she comes, with her hand out. A new star is born in Kochville.

  34. 34
    scav says:

    @hilts: Ah, another sad and loud victim of that Vast International Conspiracy of people to not think exactly like you and to not immediately defer when spoken to!

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl: In what world do lawyers get training on the financial side of a law practice?

  36. 36
    hilts says:

    OT

    “The Upshot” is the New York Times’ replacement for Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight
    http://qz.com/185922/the-upsho.....irtyeight/

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    @hilts:

    RE Attkisson: good riddance.

    I wish ABC would get rid of Jonathan Karl.

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    @hilts:

    David Leonhardt, the Times’ former Washington bureau chief, who is in charge of The Upshot, told Quartz that the new venture will have a dedicated staff of 15, including three full-time graphic journalists, and is on track for a launch this spring. “The idea behind the name is, we are trying to help readers get to the essence of issues and understand them in a contextual and conversational way,” Leonhardt says. “Obviously, we will be using data a lot to do that, not because data is some secret code, but because it’s a particularly effective way, when used in moderate doses, of explaining reality to people.”

    It takes 15 people to replace Nate Silver? I guess he probably had some people working for him too.

    And this part:

    “we are trying to help readers get to the essence of issues and understand them in a contextual and conversational way,

    Didn’t that used to be called “reporting”? Or “journalism?”

  39. 39
    Ash Can says:

    @hilts:

    “She is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — which addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the Obama administration.”

    “He won’t wear pimp clothes, he won’t cheat on Michelle, he won’t talk about ‘busting a cap in Whitey’s ass,’ he won’t turn the Oval Office into a crack den… What’s a reporter to do??”

  40. 40
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hilts:

    “The Truth” in this case is “WTF is wrong with you people! There’s a Democratic ni*CLANG* in the White House! We have to do something to get him out!”

  41. 41
    jl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Where did you go to lawyer skool? Maybe you should get some money back for a crummy curriculum.

  42. 42
    raven says:

    @jl: Oh boy, here we go!

  43. 43
    catclub says:

    @Ash Can: Only about three ‘tells’ in that title.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl: I would suggest that a lack of that training is the norm. As is a lack of practical training in general. Most lawyers who do not participate in clinical programs pick up any practical knowledge they get through summer associate positions not course work.

  45. 45
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Violet:

    It takes 15 people to replace Nate Silver?

    JOHNSON. Sir, I have no doubt that I can do it in three years.
    ADAMS. But the French Academy, which consists of forty members, took forty years to compile their Dictionary.
    JOHNSON. Sir, thus it is. This is the proportion. Let me see; forty times forty is sixteen hundred. As three to sixteen hundred, so is the proportion of an Englishman to a Frenchman.

    So is the proportion of a Timesman to Nate Silver.

  46. 46
    Belafon says:

    @Ash Can: Obama won’t let you kiss his ass to gain access. What’s a reporter to do when they can’t get a scoop?

  47. 47
    WaterGirl says:

    @Violet:

    Obviously, we will be using data a lot to do that, not because data is some secret code, but because it’s a particularly effective way, when used in moderate doses, of explaining reality to people.

    Sounds to me like they may decide on the reality first, and then use the numbers as cover to get there.

  48. 48
    askew says:

    Are we going to have a thread on Snowden and his nutjob comments today where he stood in front of the U.S. Constitution in Russia and trashed the U.S.? Because that was some crazy antics.

  49. 49
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Violet:

    David Leonhardt, the Times’ former Washington bureau chief…

    I liked articles by him when he was doing economics reporting (before being Washington bureau chief).
    Hoping he’s a good fit for the new position.

  50. 50
    aimai says:

    @Violet: I’m also confused by this:

    “Obviously, we will be using data a lot to do that, not because data is some secret code, but because it’s a particularly effective way, when used in moderate doses, of explaining reality to people.”

    Is “data” really an entirely foreign concept to the Times and its readers? Not used at all, really, except medicinally and in very small doses?

  51. 51
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Are we going to have a thread on Snowden and his nutjob comments today where he stood in front of the U.S. Constitution in Russia and trashed the U.S.? Because that was some crazy antics.

    @askew: When I was young, I once walked into a bathroom recently defaced by a crazy person. Shit thrown all over the walls, floor, ceiling.

    That’s what a Snowden thread turns into here every single time. I hope the proprietors have better sense than to start one.

  52. 52
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @askew: Maybe somebody can ask Snowden what’s up with Alexei Navalny, who is under house arrest in Moscow and prohibited from any contact with anyone other than his immediate family.

  53. 53
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @askew:
    @Patricia Kayden:

    I’m committed to voting every time I can. I just find myself horrifically deflated every time I try to do any kind of advocacy, since it feels like all I see is the Backfire Effect in full force, where attempts to inject facts and sense instead result in the targets doubling down harder and reacting by hating you and every issue you stand for instead. And yet, it feels like the GOP and the right wingers have an infinitely seductive line of attack that seems to work almost instantly and that people are receptive to in absurd ways while we’re throwing water balloons at a steel door, watching as more and more locks trigger the harder you try and push against it.

    I’ve just given up discussing politics with anyone at this point outside of save havens like here, because I’ve just resigned myself to the idea that the GOP owns the messaging war full stop because, for some reason, people would rather listen to them than suffer a dirty lib to live, no matter HOW much they agree with Dems on the actual issues.

  54. 54
    Anoniminous says:

    @Violet:

    Leonhardt says. “Obviously, we will be using data a lot to do that, not because data is some secret code, but because it’s a particularly effective way, when used in moderate doses, of explaining reality to people.”

    Otherwise known as “cherry-picking.”

  55. 55
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    So is the proportion of a Timesman to Nate Silver.

    I think it’s going to look a little more like monkeys with typewriters trying to crank out Shakespeare.

  56. 56
    askew says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    @askew: Maybe somebody can ask Snowden what’s up with Alexei Navalny, who is under house arrest in Moscow and prohibited from any contact with anyone other than his immediate family.

    He didn’t get asked one question on Russia and from the Greenwald/Snowden fans haven’t said boo about Snowden’s appearance. They are clearly having problems spinning this one.

    Though I am sure Cole would find some way to make Snowden’s crazy our fault.

  57. 57
    hilts says:

    Paul “lies from the pit of Hell” Broun has a double-digit lead over his fellow wingnuts in the race to succeed Saxby Chambliss.
    http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2.....enate-race

  58. 58
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Anoniminous: How difficult would it be to just analyze data on a section of a web site. Just take 5 news stories a week that touch on large scale data sets and test to see if what is reported is true? This sounds like it as a potential to become one of those NYT style “Two of my good friends send their kids to goofy daycare, so goofy daycare must be worth 1,200 words” stories – but with a pie chart.

  59. 59
    Ash Can says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: This, pretty much.

  60. 60
    Belafon says:

    @Anoniminous: Look for the NYT to have to explain why their analysis doesn’t match results, while Nate’s once again does.

  61. 61
    raven says:

    @hilts: Maybe yes, maybe no.

  62. 62
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Ash Can: And if we’re going to have a 500 comment food fight it should be over something interesting like Harry Potter or Cats vs Dogs.

  63. 63
    Goblue72 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Agreed. (& for the record for jl, the “lawyer school” I went to was a Top Ten law school, with a fairly typical curriculum for a national law school.)

  64. 64
    Stella B. says:

    The AMA has historically skewed male, white, southern, and surgical specialty. Guess what? White, male, rich southerners vote Republican. I don’t know a single person who bothers to belong to the AMA, but I live in California and have bumped into colleagues more than once at Democratic party events.

  65. 65
    jl says:

    @Goblue72: OK, I guess I am not up to speed on what most lawyers learn. I deal with law students who are in interdisciplinary health sciences and engineering programs, probably not typical.

    I looked up top clinical law programs in the U.S., and only one ‘top ten’ school is mentioned in the list I saw.

  66. 66
    mclaren says:

    Richard Mayhew’s latest post claims to demonstrate how stupid the Republicans are — when he actually proves how hopelessly corrupted both Democrats and Republicans have become by medical lobbying money.

    Almost three times the amount given to McCain.

    While some sunlight has been shed on the hefty sums shoveled into congressional campaign coffers in an effort to influence the Democrats’ massive healthcare bill, little attention has been focused on the far larger sums received by President Barack Obama while he was a candidate in 2008.

    A new figure, based on an exclusive analysis created for Raw Story by the Center for Responsive Politics, shows that President Obama received a staggering $20,175,303 from the healthcare industry during the 2008 election cycle, nearly three times the amount of his presidential rival John McCain. McCain took in $7,758,289, the Center found.

    The new figure, obtained by Raw Story through an independent custom research request performed by the Center for Responsive Politics — a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics — is the most comprehensive breakdown yet available of healthcare industry contributions to Obama during the 2008 election cycle.

    Currently, the Center’s website shows that Obama received $19,462,986 from the health sector, which includes health professionals ($11.7m), health services/HMOs ($1.4m), hospitals/nursing homes ($3.3m) and pharmaceuticals/health products ($2.1m). Miscellaneous health donations (from which Obama received $860,411) are also factored into the current total health sector numbers but are not accessible on the site.

    Health insurance industry contributions, however, are not included within the Center’s current health sector totals. Rather, contributions from the health insurance industry are contained within the site’s finance and insurance sector. Seeking a more complete total, the Center culled health and accident insurance donations from this sector (for which Obama received $712,317) and combined them with his existing health sector total ($19,462,986) to arrive at his healthcare industry total ($20,175,303).

    Source: “Obama received 20 million dollars from healthcare industry in his 2008 campaign.”

    And after Obama got his 20 million dollar bribe in 2008?

    Magically, inexplicably, amazingly, Obama abandoned the single payer system he had campaign on and adopted the for-profit health insurance scheme he had openly ridiculed.

    Once again, Richard Mayhew is lying to you.

    Email John Cole. Ask Cole to get rid of this superwealthy parasite and his lies.

  67. 67
    Sam Dobermann says:

    @mclaren: That’s nuts.

    Obama did not campaign on the single payer system ever. The only major differences with what he campaigned on and what we got were the issues of the individual mandate and not getting the public option. He didn’t think the mandate was necessary: he thought (and said) that first we get the cost down then everyone would sign up. He thought people would be rational. The insurers convinced him: if they had a mandate to insure all comers then the people need to have a mandate to come and be insured.

    Obama was unrealistic about the need for a mandate — but the insurers were unrealistic about its power.

    Your list of $$ was unrealistic. Since McCain took the Federal money in the general election he wasn’t allowed to raise/receive any donations so his figure is artificially low. Those wanting to donate to McCain were steered to the Republican Party both national and local. The totals for McCain were all from the Primary only.

    To actually compare you need to look at those sources for McCain AND the Republican Party against donations to Obama and the Democratic Party.

    Obama got vastly more donations from ordinary people giving less than $200 each. So he was more “bribed” by us peons than by any industry group.

    Obama spelled out what he wanted for a health care reform in a 7 page document white paper on his website under issues. He got most of what he wanted.

  68. 68
    Sam Dobermann says:

    @mclaren: That’s nuts.

    Obama did not campaign on the single payer system ever. The only difference with what he campaigned on and what we got was the issue of the individual mandate. He didn’t think it was necessary: he thought (and said) that first we get the cost down then everyone would sign up. He thought people would be rational. The insurers convinced him: if they had a mandate to insure all comers then the people need to have a mandate to come and be insured.

    Obama was unrealistic about the need for a mandate — but the insurers were unrealistic about its power.

    Your list of $$ was unrealistic. Since McCain took the Federal money in the general election he wasn’t allowed to raise/receive any donations so his figure is artificially low. Those wanting to donate to McCain were steered to the Republican Party both national and local. The totals for McCain were all from the Primary only.

    To actually compare you need to look at those sources for McCain AND the Republican Party against donations to Obama and the Democratic Party.

    Obama got vastly more donations from ordinary people giving less than $200 each. So he was more “bribed” by us peons than by any industry group.

    Obama spelled out what he wanted for a health care reform in a 7 page document white paper on his website under issues. He got most of what he wanted.

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