Today’s political world is based on “he who pays gets to play”. Corporations have learned that spending money on Washington gets results. Recent lobbying efforts by the healthcare industry has helped push thru watered down healthcare reform measures that will guarantee an increased customer base without any real protection from price gouging by the insurance companies. Sure the insurance companies have fought tooth and nail over reform, but they know if reform does pass they will still make tons of money. Either way they win. It is no coincidence that as of October 2009 the insurance and healthcare care industry has so far spent approximately $3 billion dollars on lobbying efforts.
Many right wingers like to claim that union “thugs” are buying politicians. As usual this is bunk, in 2009 the top twenty organizations that spent money on lobbying efforts is made up of corporations (13) and special interest groups (7). Not one union is close to spending the type of money on lobbying efforts that this distinguished group.
Lobbying Client Total
US Chamber of Commerce $65,211,000
Exxon Mobil $20,750,000
Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America $20,165,000
General Electric $19,661,000
Blue Cross/Blue Shield $16,727,065
Pfizer Inc $16,340,000
Chevron Corp $15,515,000
National Assn of Realtors $13,857,000
Verizon Communications $13,450,000
American Medical Assn $12,600,000
American Hospital Assn $12,337,176
FedEx Corp $12,290,000
AT&T Inc $11,368,732
Boeing Co $10,720,000
National Cable & Telecommunications Assn $10,660,000
Altria Group $10,170,000
Lockheed Martin $9,928,992
I have yet to hear right-wing pundits denounce the spending on lobbying efforts by the healthcare and insurance industries. No, it is the unions that remain in their crosshairs. I guess the right-wing campaign slogan will be “corporations first” come 2010.