Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lincoln Opposes Public Option Health Care

BLANCHE LINCOLN IS THE QUEEN OF CASH FROM THE HEALTH INDUSTRY The Sunlight Foundation's Paul Blumenthal reports that Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) has taken more money in campaign contributions from the health industry than all but one of her Democratic peers in 2009. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, Lincoln benefited from $325,350 in contributions from the health industry in the first half of 2009.

"The large amount in contributions underlies a constantly shifting position by the senator on health care reform," notes Blumenthal. Lincoln sits on the Senate Finance Committee, the lone panel that has so far failed to get its act together on health care reform legislation.

Lincoln told the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim in May that she was open to a public option. "We're looking at that option to see if it's going to be competitive and, you know, if it's going to be productive," she said. "I'm still open minded."

On Tuesday, Lincoln revealed that her mind had apparently closed. "I would not support a solely government-funded public option. We can't afford that," she said, according to Arkansas News.

The Sunlight Foundation's got the goods on the tangled web of staffers-turned-lobbyists who help the industry funnel money to Lincoln and her colleagues. For more, including a helpful chart, go here.

Correction: This item originally reported that Lincoln had taken more money from the health industry than any Democratic senator. In fact, Harry Reid has taken more. (Lincoln is still the queen.)

-- Arthur Delaney

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