Lieberman, Bayh Wives in Bed with Health Biz

Ties to pharma, insurers make filibuster threats suspect
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2009 9:38 AM CDT
Sen. Joe Lieberman is joined by his wife , Hadassah, as he tours the podium at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008.    (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – The threats from Sens. Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh to help filibuster any health reform bill with a public option should come as no surprise to anybody familiar with their family finances, writes Joe Conason. Lieberman's wife Hadassah spent 30 years working in the corporate health sector for pharmaceutical firms and the lobbying firms that represent them, while Bayh's wife Susan has made millions working for Wellpoint, America's biggest health insurer.

The Liebermans' fortune is modest in comparison to the estimated $5 million to $10 million the Bayhs have in the bank, but the devotion to public health Hadassah Lieberman "has long proclaimed is still tinged with hypocrisy," Conason writes in Salon. She serves as a paid ambassador for a breast cancer charity, he notes, so somebody should point out to her that the filibuster will be a "death sentence" for thousands of women who delay preventive medical care because of a lack of insurance.