Obama's Daschle Plan for Health Insurance "Reform" in the Stimulus Bill The Result of Bribes Paid To Daschle by Health Care Industry

Following up on my previous post, this just in from POLITICO. Dems who won't do an ostrich routine need to slap themselves and read this ... NOW:

Daschle made nearly $5.3 million in the last two years, records released Friday show, including $220,000 he received for giving speeches, many of them to outfits that stand to gain or lose millions of dollars from the work he would do once confirmed as secretary of Health and Human Services.

For instance, the Health Industry Distributors Association plunked down $14,000 to land the former Senate Democratic leader in March 2008. The association, which represents medical products distributors, boasts on its website that Daschle met with it after he was nominated to discuss “the impact an Obama administration will have on the industry.”

This week, the group began openly lobbying him, sending him a letter urging him to rescind a rule requiring competitive bidding of Medicare contracts.

Another organization, America’s Health Insurance Plans, paid $20,000 for a Daschle speaking appearance in February 2007. It represents health insurance companies, which under Obama’s plan would be barred from denying coverage on the basis of health or age.

There was a $12,000 talk to GE Healthcare in August, a $20,000 lecture in January to Premier, Inc., a health care consulting firm, and a pair of $18,000 speeches this year to different hospital systems, among other paid appearances before health care groups.

The speaking fees were detailed in a financial disclosure statement released Friday, which showed that Daschle pulled down a total of more than $500,000 from the speaking circuit in the last two years, and $5.3 million in overall income.

And furthermore, from nextGov:

Daschle received speaking fees in 2008 from Premier Inc., which collects and analyzes clinical and financial data for hospitals, and America's Health Insurance Plans, an association that represents 1,300 health insurers, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Premier and America's Health Insurance Plans belong to the Confidentiality Coalition, which sent a letter in December to Senate and House leadership opposing plans to include in the economic stimulus bill provisions that would protect the privacy of patients. The bill includes $20 billion for promoting transforming American's paper health records to electronic form to reduce costs and improve health care.


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