Pelosi bites hand that feeds her?

July 31, 2009

USA/Over the past few days, with the healthcare reform debate raging in Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has lit into the U.S. insurance industry.

“Immoral” and “villains” are among the words she has used to describe the companies for their opposition to a publicly run health plan.  And she has castigated their policies of refusing to take care of pre-existing medical conditions and capping benefits of cancer patients.

“The glory days are coming to an end,” Pelosi warned those companies, vowing to build support for the bill she’s pushing.

But will the tough talk bring to an end insurance industry campaign contributions to Pelosi?

For the current 2009-2010 election cycle, insurance industry contributions to Pelosi total $41,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Only health professionals have given her more money, $113,000, according to the group, which tracks campaign contributions to lawmakers and lobbying activities. In the 2007-2008, of the top 20 industries contributing to her, insurance contributions ranked fifth, totaling $177,000 out of a total $3.78 million raised.

“As the Speaker’s opposition to the health insurance companies being in charge of America’s health care shows, there is no link between political contributions and positions on policy,” said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Pelosi.

Dave Levinthal, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, said of the mismatch between the contributions and Pelosi’s criticisms: “They have a right to donate money to her.  She has a right speak her mind.”

He notes that insurance industry campaign contributions to Pelosi’s re-election campaigns and a separate “leadership” campaign fund have risen dramatically in the last couple years, as healthcare reform prospects have risen.

“It is possible they may look in a different direction” if they conclude she’s not going to be “receptive to their influence,” Levinthal adds.

Cue up Bruce Spingsteen and “Glory days, well, they’ll pass you by.”

Photo credit: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (Pelosi at July 22 news conference)


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This posting is a feeble attempt to cast Nancy Pelosi as a hypocrite for accepting insurance industry money while speaking out against them. Who cares that she is not receptive to their influence? Why not blog about health care policy or about congresspeople who are influenced by bribes (contributions)?

Posted by Chris Nyberg | Report as abusive

America’s Clown?

The truth is nobody really cares what Pelosi has to say.

She is riding her own ego trip on a broomstick, it

really is laughable.

Posted by Ian | Report as abusive

“Immoral” and “villains” is the true defination of Pelosi, have her pledge to drop the government provided healt care she enjoys, then she will appear to be ethical

Posted by bob Iles an independent voter | Report as abusive

So, it is wrong to question someone’s patriotism…but OK to call them villains.

Nice world view Nancy.

Posted by Montie | Report as abusive

All I can say is Kudo’s to the woman for having the strength to stand up to those who have taken over America’s health care system and turned it into a nightmare. Perhaps if more had this kind of spirit and were not afraid of doing the right thing for the American people our government would be more effective in caring for its citizens.

Posted by Lawrence | Report as abusive

Healthcare is a mess because of government interference.

A one acronym-word will suffice to prove this point with anyone in the know: HCFA

Government/Lawyers will only continue to make things worse as it has been doing since doctors made housecalls.

Posted by Dennis | Report as abusive

This is the first time I’ve heard Pelosi actually doing something somewhat good for the people instead of for her career. She must be planning on not running for re-election next time around.

Now, if she would only stand up for Single Payer…

Posted by Osona | Report as abusive

The government has increased the cost of health care. And health care is NOT a right. The plan that politicians are planing is unconstitutional. Right now we have a government of the politicians by the politicians and for the politicians. It is time to get all the liars out of the government. This includes obama, senators, congress, state and local governments. They all took an oath of office and they all have violated that oath.

Posted by Art Pettis | Report as abusive

One hand she is not going to bite, that is the trade union movement,and it is going to be obama,s socialist governments downfall.Any bill that the democrats try to get through congress that does not make special concessions to the unions,will fail because they will not toe the line.The government health care outline proposal plans cannot include the trade unions,they have told obama that they want the status quo and he will capitulate like he did with the GM share unemployment rises he will do what the wilson government tried to do in england and impose a wage freeze on all sections of the working community like he is doing with the banks, but the unions will torpedo him like they did to harold wilson.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive