NPR shines the light on Sen. Max Baucus (Democrat-MT) who, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, plays a huge role in the health care debate.
The problem? An obscene percentage of Sen. Baucus' campaign contributions come from the health insurance industry (only 13% of his campaign funding actually came from voters in Montana). Five of his former Senate staff members now lobby Congress for powerful drug companies like Amgen, AstraZeneca, Merck, and Wyeth. With such powerful interests controlling his purse strings, Baucus is trying to water down any health care reform bill.
Memo to Majority Leader Harry Reid: This is a huge conflict of interest. Shouldn't Baucus be recused from chairing the committee on this particular issue?
A few details on the Baucus-Insurance relationship, including a link to the NPR's audio piece, can be found here.