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$1.4 million every day

capsuleThat’s how much the Washington Post reports that drug companies, health insurance companies and others in the corporate health-care business are spending on lobbying to water down health care reform in Washington, D.C.

I wonder if many uninsured and underinsured patients think that  is money well spent. Or the people who have filed for bankruptcy because they couldn’t pay for health care – who are, in fact, most people who file for bankruptcy in the U.S. – do they think these millions are well-spent health-care dollars?

Instead of health care, what is the health-care industry buying with this money – more than $126 million in the first quarter? They’re buying more than 350 former Congress members and former staffers, who sell their influence to advocate on behalf of special interests.

Those in the business of corporate health care have gotten into the habit of calling government programs inefficient, but is spending money like this on lobbying instead of actually delivering care what they call “efficiency”? In truth, the most efficient reform of the health care industry would be a single-payer national health-care system.  

Watch Public Citizen’s acting president, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, M.D., on PBS’s Bill Moyer’s Journal to learn more about single-payer.

Flickr photo by Brooks Elliot.