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Here's an interesting bit of research
from the government watchdog OpenSecrets.org suggesting why our beloved Blue Dog Democrats might oppose true health-care reform:
There's a particular breed of lawmaker on Capitol Hill that is pushing hard against a public health care plan, much to the delight of two seriously moneyed special interest groups--insurers and pharmaceuticals. They're the Blue Dogs: moderate, vocal and funded in part by the industries trying to protect their bottom line.
The typical member* of the Blue Dog caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives has received $10,300 more from insurers than the typical non-Blue Dog Democrat in the House (including health and accident insurers, HMOs and other health services) and only $3,625 less than the typical House Republican. Earlier this month, the Blue Dogs sent a letter to House leadership arguing that a public option should be created "only if insurance market reforms and increased competition don't lower costs on their own," according to the Politico.
OpenSecrets made a chart
showing the members of the Blue Dog Coalition and the totals they've received from the employees and PACs of various health-related industries and the health sector overall since 1989, and guess what? Right near the top of the list are Jim Cooper, John Tanner and Bart Gordon.