From TPMCafe:

Gang of Sickos: Six US Senators Sell Out Constituents for $11 Million from Health Industry
July 18, 2009, 11:01PM

A bipartisan group of six “moderate” US senators, dubbed the “Gang of Six” by news agencies, issued a demand July 17 for a slowdown on Democratic health care reform. These senators – including three conservative Democrats, one conservative Independent who caucuses with Democrats, and two moderate Republicans – asked for a slowdown on health care reform not because their constituents wished it so: recent polls show that a clear majority of Americans want health care reform now including a public health care option such as that proposed by President Obama and progressives in Congress. No, these senators asked for a slowdown on health care reform because the for-profit health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries have bid them to do so in the hope that reform can be stopped, and because these same industries have generously provided them with career campaign contributions totalling more than $11 million.

These six senators – whom I’ll call the “Gang of Sickos” in honor of Michael Moore’s film on America’s health care crisis similarly titled – are Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Ron Wyden of Oregon; Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut; and Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine (Paul Krugman calls them “the six deadly hypocrites”). Their career total and average daily contributions from the health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries are summarized by Paul Blumenthal at the Huffington Post based on figures from the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

Sicko #1: Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the ringleader of the group, has raised more than $2.2 million in campaign contributions from the health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries over the course of his career according to Blumenthal, averaging more than $700 per day since taking office in January 2001. Public Campaign Action Fund (PCAF) gives a slightly lower career total of just over $2.0 million for Nelson, and provides extensive detail on his ties to the health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries. Before entering politics, as PCAF notes, Nelson spent his career as an insurance executive, as an insurance company lawyer and, early in his career, as Nebraska’s state insurance regulator. As PCAF also notes, a number of Nelson’s former Senate staffers have moved on into lucrative careers as health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industry lobbyists. Comments may be addressed to Senator Nelson via his Senate contact page (Nebraska residents only) or by direct e-mail at: (CRP: Ben Nelson).

Read about the rest of the Sellout Traitors at the link above.

From Paul Krugman:
July 17, 2009, 8:28 pm
The six deadly hypocrites
Will the destructive center kill health care reform? It looks all too possible.

What’s especially galling is the hypocrisy of their claimed reason for delaying progress — concern about the fiscal burden. After all, in the past most of them have shown no concern at all for the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook.

Case in point: the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which denied Medicare the right to bargain for lower drug prices, locked in overpayments to private insurance companies, and did nothing, nothing at all, to pay for its proposed outlays. How many of these six self-proclaimed defenders of solvency voted no on the crucial procedural vote? One. (Joe Lieberman, to my surprise.)

And let’s not forget that Ben Nelson, who appears to be the ringleader, has fought tooth and nail against competition from a public option — which would almost certainly save a significant amount of money, as well as providing much-needed competition.

If the Gang of Six really does kill reform, remember their names; they will bear the responsibility for vast, unnecessary suffering over the years to come.


Don’t take your eyes off the healthcare debate. It’s quite interesting to see which roaches have the light shone upon them now that they have no damn excuses. And, their traitor asses should NEVER EVER BE FORGOTTEN if they get in the way on healthcare.

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