Political Party Time

Health care lobbyists turn up the heat

Lobbyists who represent pharmaceutical manufacturers and other health care interests will be hosting at least five planned fundraising parties for members of Congress today.

Jocelyn Hong, of the 21st Century Group, will be hosting two events--a lunch for Rep. Mark Schuaer (D-MI) and an evening reception for Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ).  Hong represents both Sanofi-Aventis and Schering-Plough.

There are two breakfasts and one dinner scheduled to take place today as well.  Patton Boggs' lobbyists Ben GinsbergEd NewberryDarryl Nirenberg and Kevin O'Neil will be hosting Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) while  Cesar Conda and Manus Cooney will be entertaining Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) over breakfast.

Finally, Jeff MacKinnon, who represents Avantis, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Merck, will be hosting a Cafe 8 Dinner for Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) at 6:30 pm.

In addition to today's events, Steve Clark and Sam Geduldig (of Clark and Associates), who represent the likes of Ernst & Young and Barr Laboratories, held a dinner in Rep. Bill Posey's (R-TX) honor last night at the Matchbox.

These six fundraisers--of the 16 total fundraisers featuring pharmaceutical lobbyist hosts we have in our database for the month of September, come on the heels of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America's (PhRMA) rollout of a $150 million advertising campaign in support of the Baucus health care bill says Duff Wilson of the New York Times.

The drug industry's trade group plans to roll out a series of television advertisements in coming weeks specifically to support Senator Max Baucus's health care overhaul proposal, according to an industry official involved in the planning.

The move would be a follow-up to the deal that drug makers struck in June with Mr. Baucus [and the White House.]

President Obama has cited the deal with the group as signifying a new era of cooperation. But some critics say the advertising fund could be wielded against alternative approaches to health care legislation.

The industry's support for the Baucus plan, critics argue, is a direct result of both Sen. Baucas' and President Obama's public support for an individual mandate. (See the text of President Obama's speech and Senator Baucus' "Framework for comprehensive health reform")

A plan with an individual mandate and no public option is, as the Washington Examiner writes, the "Holy Grail" of reform for the health care lobby.

To see clients for lobbyists hosting events click on individuals' names: Steve Clark, Ben Ginsberg, Ed Newberry, Darryl Nirenberg, Kevin O'Neil, Sam Geduldig, Cesar Conda, Manus Cooney, Jocelyn Hong, Jeff MacKinnon.

This post is first in a series on September fundraising efforts and the industries behind them.