December 15, 2009 - MAPLight.org reported yesterday that the public health care option died in the Senate, replaced by a compromise provision that would allow those aged 55-64 to purchase Medicare. Hours later, the Medicare buy-in compromise was also rejected, under pressure from Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT). Over the past six years Lieberman has received $114,900 in campaign contributions from health insurers and HMOs, which places him among the top 10 Senate recipients.
Lieberman had supported the Medicare expansion as recently as three months ago.
Among the top 10 recipients of health insurance money, there are three other non-Republicans: Max Baucus (D-MT) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) led previous versions of the bills through committee; passing the bill would reflect well on them. Ben Nelson (D-NE) expressed concerns about the Medicare buy-in compromise; his vote is still not certain while he presses on abortion restrictions.
Top 10 Senate Recipients of Campaign Contributions from Health Insurers and HMOs, August 13, 2003 - August 12, 2009
Campaign contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets Open Data. Date range of contributions is: August 13, 2003 - August 12, 2009. Contributions from the following special interests were included: accident and health insurers, HMOs. Contributions to the Presidential campaigns of current House members and Senators are not included.