With Democrat Martha Coakley in trouble in the Massachusetts special election to fill Ted Kennedy's seat, Democrats could lose vote No. 60 for President Obama's health-care bill. In response, an army of lobbyists for drug companies, health insurance companies, and hospitals has teamed up to throw a high-dollar Capitol Hill fundraiser for Coakley next Tuesday night. The invitation is here.
Of the 22 names on the host committee--meaning they raised $10,000 or more for Coakley--17 are federally registered lobbyists, 15 of whom have health-care clients. Of the other five hosts, one is married to a lobbyist, one was a lobbyist in Pennsylvania, another is a lawyer at a lobbying firm, and another is a corporate CEO. Oh, and of course, there's also the political action commitee for Boston Scientific Corporation.
All the leading drug companies have lobbyists on Coakley's host committee: Pfizer, Merck, Amgen, Sanofi-Aventis, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Astra-Zeneca, and more. On the insurance side of things, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, HealthSouth, and United Health all are represented on the host committee.
Those HMOs (like Aetna) or drug companies who don't have lobbyists in Coakley's top tier of fundraisers? They're covered, because the host committee includes four lobbyists representing the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), two representing America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and one representing the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
So think of these top donors to health-care reform's 60th vote next time President Obama claims that he's battling the special interests in this battle. The army listed below is on Obama's side, and these clients will all benefit from "reform."
Here are some of Coakley fundraiser hosts with some of their current health care clients:
- Thomas Boggs, Patton Boggs: Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Chuck Brain, Capitol Hill Strategies: Amgen, BIO, Merck, PhRMA
- Susan Brophy, Glover Park Group: Blue Cross, Pfizer
- Steven Champlin, Duberstein Group: AHIP, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis
- Licy Do Canto, Raben Group: Amgen
- Gerald Cassidy, Cassidy & Associates: U. Mass Memorial Health Care
- David Castagnetti, Mehlman, Vogel, Castagnetti: Abbot Labs, AHIP, Astra-Zenaca, General Electric, Humana, Merck, PhRMA.
- Steven Elmendorf, Elmendorf Strategies: Medicines Company, PhRMA, United Health
- Shannon Finley, Capitol Counsel: Amgen, Astra-Zeneca, Blue Cross, GE, PhRMA, Sanofi-Aventis.
- Heather Podesta, Heather Podesta & Partners: Cigna, Eli Lilly, HealthSouth
- Tony Podesta, Podesta Group: Amgen, GE, Merck, Novartis.
- Robert Raben, Raben Group: Amgen, GE.
If Coakley pulls it out, this is the crowd that will have brought her here. If health-care reform passes, this is the crew that will have won.