Hold Your Stomach-This May Be Almost as Grotesque As the Swift Boat Liars

I know most folks here want to stay focused on 2006 and focus on 2008 later. I agree with those feelings. I know Democrats must be a “big tent” party and that many folks in the health care field give money, time, and energy to Democrats not as a buyoff but because they truly feel (correctly in my view) that if there’s one bunch that can expand health care and control it’s costs it’s the Democrats. But folks, Hillary Clinton is going too far.

On July 9, 2006 MSNBC published “Hillary Clinton seeks to woo Wall St.” It’s one thing to assure businesspeople your not a modern-day Marxist but these items drove me nuts.

Some events, such as a recent gathering at Morgan Stanley that included chief executive John Mack, a big Republican donor, have been fundraisers for the Senate campaign. Others, including a chat with executives at Lehman Brothers, are more policy-oriented. Mrs Clinton is said to be planning meetings at Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse, among others.”

Remember when you were young and your parents told you not to be friends with someone because they hung out with the wrong crowd, or don’t date so-and-so because they will break your heart-I wonder if Hillary ever heard that lecture.

Uh Nick, aren’t you being a little harsh? Besides like you said don’t Democrats have to be a big tent and appeal to those not normally disposed towards the Dems?

Yes, Dems should and can appeal to those who at first glance might not seem natural Dems. No I ‘m not being harsh. Imagine John Kerry making nice with the Swift Boat Liars, or Duke Cunningham. That’s exactly what’s happening with Hillary as she cozies up to the same folks who brought us “Harry and Louise” ads circa 1994. As the NY Times demonstrates in this July 11 article “Once an Enemy, Health Industry Warms to Clinton“:

“As she runs for re-election to the Senate from New York this year and lays the groundwork for a possible presidential bid in 2008, Mrs. Clinton is receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from doctors, hospitals, drug manufacturers and insurers. Nationwide, she is the No. 2 recipient of donations from the industry, trailing only Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a member of the Republican leadership.

Some of the same interests that tried to derail Mrs. Clinton’s health care overhaul are providing support for her Senate re-election bid. The Health Insurance Association of America ran the famous “Harry and Louise” commercials mocking the Clinton health care plan as impenetrably complex. Some companies that were members of that group are now donating to Mrs. Clinton.

Charles N. Kahn III, a Republican who was executive vice president of the Health Insurance Association in 1993 and 1994, now works with the senator on some issues as president of the Federation of American Hospitals, a lobby for hospital companies like HCA and Tenet. He describes his battles with the first lady as “ancient history,” and he said health care executives were contributing to her now because “she is extremely knowledgeable about health care and has become a Congressional leader on the issue.”

Senator Clinton has received $150,600 in contributions from insurance and pharmaceutical companies, which she accused in 1993 of “price gouging” and “unconscionable profiteering”…. Tellingly, one of her fund-raisers in the industry is a Republican, William R. Abrams, executive vice president of the Medical Society of the State of New York.”

Of course there are the requisite points about how Hillary’s “efforts to expand insurance coverage for mental health care and to finance long-term care for older Americans living at home.” Funny I remember a certain Democrat had proposals to just that (and insure at least 95% of Americans). I don’t remember Hillary’s newfound friends in the insurance and pharmaceutical companies spending much money to elect him. Can anybody confirm that for me?

Wait a minute, Ted Kennedy gets contributions from the health care industry? Yeah, and then he goes out and proposes single-payer and other such plans. Either the physicians giving money to Ted Kennedy have no political sense or they are enlightened (I prefer to believe the latter).

Anyway, here’s a list of the some others among the top 10 recipients of contributions from the health care industry 2005-06:

Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), James Talent (R-Mo.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), and Joe Barton (R-Texas). Interestingly not one of these Republicans has recieved as much in contributions as Hillary has. Very interesting, no?

Finally, let me just say that I was no fan of “Hillarycare”, it was just too confusing and was presented to the American public in a nose-in-the-air kind of way. But why would you get cozy with those who wanted to denigrate the very notion of national health insurance all together?

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About Nick

Teacher of Social Studies. Born in the 1970s. History major, music minor. Big Baseball fan. Economic progressive.
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