The health insurance companies of America are lining up at the doors of Congress to commit legalized bribery like never before. In this time in which Congress and the President are trying to craft some type of health care legislation, insurers want to make certain that their feet are firmly under the table.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, the national association representing nearly 1,300 member companies providing health insurance coverage, reports that it spent $2.4 million just from July through September.
The non-partisan group Center for Responsive Politics reports that some drug companies are also outdoing previous efforts at buying influence. Pfizer has spent $16.3 million lobbying so far in 2009, and Amgen spent $9.2 million so far this year. Those amounts far outpace their 2008 bribes.
So, let’s run a total:
That doesn’t count individual companies like US Healthcare, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, Humana, United Healthcare or any others. That also doesn’t count October and November.
But remember…there are 435 members of Congress and 100 Senators, one president and one vice president who is also president of the Senate. That totals 537 people. Divide the bribery total above by 537 and you see that each elected official could potentially have received $51,955.00 in contributions just from these lobbyists.
Remember also that the bribery is not done. Remember also that the opponents to this health care bill are also lobbying and bribing.
Even the AARP has spent a mind-boggling $15.1 million in lobbying bribes this year, which is less than they spent in the first three quarters of 2008.
Don’t worry about the insurance companies, though. Their profits are secure, and Congress will NEVER leave them out.
The insurance companies have vast investment portfolios. A big part of their portfolios are government bonds and other government securities. If the insurance companies sold off even 1 or 2% of their holdings at once, they could cause the bond markets to collapse overnight. Washington knows this and won’t allow it to happen. So, insurers will get pretty much anything they desire.
As the old saying goes…“when money talks, all the bullshi* walks.” Don’t believe ANY headlines that tell you the insurance companies are dithering and worried. They have NO WORRIES.