Health plans donating millions to insurers

With health reform plans in the works that could potentially have a dramatic impact on their business, health insurers and pharmas have been doing everything they can to make sure that they get heard on Capitol Hill.

Since 2005, health plans and their employees have given $2.2 million to the top 10 recipients of donations in the House and Senate. Drugmakers and their employees, meanwhile gave more than $3.3 million to top lawmakers during the same period, according to advocacy group Consumer Watchdog.

Big winners in the Senate include John McCain, with $546,000 and Mitch McConnell with $425,000. In the House, John Boehner got $257,000 in donations during this period, while Eric Cantor received $249,000.

All told, observers calculate, healthcare has spent nearly $1 billion in lobbying over the past two years alone, and is likely to step their efforts up further in reaching out to Democrats now that they have more clout, experts suggest.

To learn more about healthcare political donations:
- read this Washington Post piece