Skip to main content

I have to get this off my chest.  I am no Obamabot although I continue to support him.  I am concerned about his economic team and the hand they had in the original deregulation that led to the economic collapse.  But when Raw Story comes out with this piece

intimating that Obama has been influenced by the Health Care industry because of $20M in contributions, I got damn mad.  This is an example, as with the allegations about John Gruber, of needless and thoughtless faux scandal manufacture from the left.  Details below the fold.  

The numbers are gleaned from a web site put up by the Center for Responsive Politics and are an aggregate from "health professionals ($11.7m), health services/HMOs ($1.4m), hospitals/nursing homes ($3.3m) and pharmaceuticals/health products ($2.1m)".

You can easily go to the site yourself - - the drop down form allows you to explore.  

Right away you can see that the site does not distinguish between individual contributions and PACS in a useful way.  Right away you see that the "Education industry" gave $23M!  That is my industry!  Is anyone crying about the undue influence of the education industry?

And who are "Health Care Professionals"?  Presumably MDs, Nurses, Technicians, Hospital administrators.  Individuals!  Individuals who may have wanted to see some meaningful health care reform to help the people they treat every day.  The biggest single part ($12M) of the $20M of influence Raw Story is citing comes from these "Health Care Professionals". I would be more concerned about health services/HMOs which gave $1.4M, about .2% of the $750M raised by Obama in the campaign.  Are you really going to tell me that Obama was influenced by what are most likely individuals giving .2% to his campaign?

It gets better when you go further - this link on the site

gives the biggest "organization" contributions. What was the biggest? Aetna? Goldman-Sachs?

No. The University of California.  My crowd.  $1.5M.  Again, .2% of Obama's overall haul. In fact, UC individuals gave basically the same as Goldman/Sachs and JP Morgan combined.  

Now I was turned onto these links by a FB friend who is progressive but clearly down bigtime on Obama.  Each day they post corrosive attacks on Obama and his administration.  When I noted these points in the comment thread on her post I got back things like this:

as you know, colleges and universities love federal money. Besides grants for research and construction, there is the matter of student financial aid. Even public universities act like private businesses.

My point is this:  let's focus on real problems.  Pushing for real health care reform.  Helping Haiti.  Getting the economy fixed for real.  

Bogus stories derived from uncritical examinations of how federal funding of academics works (Gruber) or the influence on Obama from the health care industry are unhelpful distractions.

Originally posted to dlcox1958 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:27 AM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site