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December 22, 2002

Follow Frist's Money & Voting

Newsweek has an interview with Charles Lewis of the Center for Public Integrity who notes the suspiciousness of the timing of the HCA settlement just as the White House was maneuvering to get Frist into the Majority Leader position.

I think it looks like hell. It’s not some obscure company he owns stock in. His family and Sen. Frist have personally become rich because of this company. It is the source of his wealth. I have not studied trial transcripts and briefs and the thousands of pages of material that have built up over the years in the case, but you’ve got to wonder: If there was substantial fraud committed in that company, what did the Frist family know and when did they know it?

Public Campaign matches up Frist's corporate political money and the votes it bought.

  • With $123,750, he's the number four recipient in the Senate for campaign cash from HMOs. In 2001 he voted against legislation that would have improved patients' access to care and allowed them to hold their HMOs accountable for failure to provide adequate treatment. [Senate Roll Call Vote No. 220, 107th Congress, 1st Session, June 29, 2001.] In 1999, he voted against an amendment that would have guaranteed patients access to specialists' care. [Senate Roll Call Vote No. 205, 106th Congress, 1st Session, July 14, 1999.]
  • He's collected $265,023 from the pharmaceutical/health products industry, making him the seventh top recipient in the Senate. He voted in favor of legislation that would have given tax subsidies to HMOs and insurance companies to offer prescription drug coverage to senior citizens, rather than provide it under the Medicare program. [Senate Roll Call Vote No. 187, 107th Congress, 2nd Session, July 23, 2002.]
  • "He's gotten $41,574 from the tobacco industry. In 2001, he was the lead sponsor of legislation on tobacco regulation (S. 190) that the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids called "worse than no legislation at all," and said would "result in business as usual for the tobacco industry and do nothing to reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco." [U.S. Newswire, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, June 14, 2001.]
  • "Frist has taken $130,204 from food processing/sales, livestock, and poultry and eggs industries. In return, in 2001, he voted to quash legislation that would have strengthened the USDA's authority to crack down on processing plants that violate standards for bacteria and virus infestation of meat and poultry. [Senate Roll Call Vote No. 314, 107th Congress, 1st Session, October 25, 2001.]

    Posted by Nathan at December 22, 2002 08:46 PM

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