We're trying not to be cynical about the upcoming vote this weekend on President Obama's health care proposal -- but it's hard.
We don't remember who first came up with the line, "We have the best politicians money can buy." but the phrase keeps coming to mind.
A Washington Post database (hat tip to the Journal Sentinel for finding it) shows in which direction every member of the House is leaning... and also how much he or she may have been influenced by health care industry cash.
Why, lookee here, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, 1st District, has received $1,125,233 from industry lobbyists -- more than any other Wisconsin lawmaker. And the payoffs -- um, campaign contributions -- received by some others aren't so shabby, either: Rep. David Obey, D-WI, 7th District (Stevens Point), got $886,894; and Rep. Ron Kind, D-WI, 3rd District (LaCrosse), got $841,913. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-WI, 4th (Milwaukee), by the way, scraped the bottom of the barrel in health care industry contributions -- a paltry $88,472, the only Wisconsin lawmaker who failed to reach six digits. For the record, only 33 of the House's 435 members, received more than Ryan. The leader was New York's Charles Rangel, D-15th, with an eye-popping $3,867,249.
All told, Wisconsin's eight House members collected $4,347,116. So much for influence you hoped to achieve with that $10 you were gonna mail in...
The Washington Post's database also shows the percentage of uninsured people in each of the Congressional districts. Our First District figure is 10.1% uninsured. Obey's 7th District is the worst in Wisconsin, at 12%. Best is Jim Sensenbrenner's (R-5th District, Waukesha), with just 6.2% uninsured.
The Post's prediction, by the way, is that Ryan will vote no, along with Sensenbrenner and Tom Petri, R-WI, 6th (Sheboygan); It predicts yes votes from Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, 2nd (Madison); and Moore. No surprises here; that's how each of them voted in November when the health care proposal failed to get the necessary 216 votes, going down by 208 nay, to 168 yea.