The Washington Post/Associated Press, September 8, 2011

The powerful new congressional panel assigned to tame the deficit will have to squeeze Medicare and Medicaid for any chance of success. But healthcare industries that depend on those programs have invested millions over the years to woo its members. Doctors, drugmakers, hospitals and health insurers have contributed $17 million since 1989 to the individual campaigns of lawmakers now on the debt supercommittee, a new analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics finds. Health professionals—an industry category dominated by doctors—rank among the top 10 sources of campaign dollars for all but two of the 12 lawmakers. The findings reinforce expectations that the panel may tinker with the government's giant health care programs, but not revamp them. The center ranks contributions to lawmakers from political action committees and individuals associated with more than 80 industries, from defense contractors to energy to farming. The study of health care money was conducted for The Associated Press.

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