Volume 3 August 1, 2009 Health Care Lobbyists, Things That Can Threaten Life or Limb

Amount spent nationally in 2008 for all healthcare lobbying: $484 million    Amount per day: $1.3 million                                                                          Amount per each congressman and senator per day: $2,600

Number of health care lobbyists in 2008 and increase since 1998:  3,627 / x2

Number of health care organization in the top ten spenders for Massachusetts lobbyists: 5  Which?: MHA, BC/BS, SEIU 1199, Mass Assoc. of Health Plans, Partners Health Care

Per cent of total health care lobbying money attributed to pharmaceutical interests:  > 50

Amount spent by pharmaceutical companies for lobbying in just the first quarter of 2009: $66 million

Per cent increase that is over last year’s amount: +25

Rank of pharmaceutical industry spending on lobbyists of 121 industries monitored since 1998: 1

Number of years new drug patents are “exclusive” which prohibits generic manufacture: 12

Amount contributed this year by Amgen to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States

Senate at the University of Massachusetts: $1 million

Rank of health professionals lobbying and spending level compared to pharmaceutical: 12 and 1/2

Top five health professional organizations making political contributions in 2008 and amount spent:

Am Med Assoc./ $20.1 million; Am Coll. of Radiology/ $3.4 million; Am. Acad. of Family Practice/

$3.1 million; Am. Assoc. of Orthopedic Surg./ $1.7 million; Am Coll. of ER Physicians/ $1.6 million

Amount of money paid for “No.9” electronic cigarettes in the past two years: $100 million

No. 9 is an E-cigarette that dispenses propylene glycol and liquid nicotine and the plastic tip

glows when you inhale. It dispenses 1/5 as much nicotine and costs about one-half as much as a

real cigarette. One scientist has stated, “There is simply no evidence at this time that electronic

cigarette use poses any significant risk to non-smokers (emphasis added).”

Per cent of Massachusetts registered drivers over 75 and per cent of all auto accidents involving a

driver over 75 respectively: 7 / 3.6

Per cent change since 2004 of Massachusetts accidents involving over 75 year old drivers: -18

This is heartening to those of us who have noticed the recent spurt of stories about the

over 75 year old drivers who have confused the accelerator pedal with the brake pedal.

Ratio of fatalities in accidents at intersections for over 75 and those aged 26 to 64 yrs.:  2:1

Factor by which a driver using a cell phone is more apt to cause an accident: 4x

Chance of reducing that increased risk of an accident by use of a hands-free cell phone: 0

Per cent alcohol level in drivers having the same risk of an accident as a cell phone user: .08

Per cent of 50 states that define drunk driving as a blood alcohol level of .08 or more: 100

Conclusion: If you meet an over 75 year old on a cell phone at an intersection, get out and walk.

Number of Massachusetts soldiers killed in action between 2002 and 2007:  78

Number of Massachusetts  residents dying of a drug overdose in the same period:  3,265

Increased chance of having a blood clot develop in your leg during a long sedentary trip: x3

Per cent increase in risk for each two hour interval of travel: 18 (26% for air travel)

Absolute risk of developing a blood clot during an airplane trip: 1 in 4,600 flights


Quotable Quote

“Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem. Woody Allen

Seton Hall University Law School; http://www.healthreformwatch.com/2009/06/27/

Center for Responsive Politics, http://www.opensecrets.org

Boston Globe July 18, 2009,   Mass Secretary of State’s office statistics

Boston Globe, Biotech Firms Push Hard to Protect Profits, July 21, 2009, p.A1

Boston Globe, July 21, 2009, p. G22, Alex Beam

Boston Globe, July 19, 2009, p. B1, David Abel; Mass RMV; US Government Accounting

Office;Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Boston Globe, July 19, 2009, p. A9, Matt Richtel

Massachusetts Oxycontin and Heroin Commission

Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 151: Issue 3, 2009, D. Chandra, et al.

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