Health Industry Rains Cash on Blue Dog Dems
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2009 9:43 AM CDT
Mike Ross speaks to the media, as Frank Pallone, Bart Gordon and Henry Waxman listen after a Blue Dog Democrats meeting with President Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – The Blue Dogs—the 52 fiscally conservative Democrats who have been fighting to kill health care reform proposals the industry doesn’t like—receive far more money from that industry than their non-coalition-member counterparts, the Washington Post reports. The reform push has been a boon for the lawmakers' ledgers; the group has set a record fundraising pace this year, beating all other congressional leadership PACs.

So far, Blue Dog complaints have led to a compromise bill in the House that waters down the public option and provides higher payments to rural providers. “The Blue Dogs are carrying water for the industry instead of their constituents,” said one health care activist.  Blue Dog Mike Ross disagrees, saying the caucus is trying to “slow the process down” to ensure it works. The Arkansas Congressman has held at least seven health industry fundraisers this year.