Combine this with the recent Supreme Court decision, and you have the US as a nation of corperate statism. And we thought that they lost 65 years ago. Health Care Profiteers: A Billion-Dollar Lobby A study by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), Northwestern University and the Chicago Tribune, published in the newspaper Sunday, found that health care lobbyists have spent more than $396 million this year to influence senators and congressmen engaged in passing the health care restructuring legislation, and $862 million in 2008-2009 combined. With the frenzy of lobbying in the last quarter of 2009, the two-year total will go well beyond $1 billion. The drug industry alone has spent $199 million on lobbying in the first nine months of the year, which CRP said was the largest such amount ever spent by any industry on any issue. The drug lobby negotiated a deal with the White House in the spring to limit to $80 billion over ten years the amount that the drug companies would have to accept in discounts and rebates as their contribution to paying for the health care overhaul. Efforts by some Senate and House Democrats to impose greater costs on the industry, as much as $200 billion, have been beaten back with the support of the Obama administration. The 338 health care corporations and associations hired at least 166 former staffers and 13 former members of the nine congressional leadership offices and five committees with a role in shaping health care legislation. Another 112 former staffers worked as lobbyists on health care legislation for non-health care companies. The value of such lobbying was demonstrated in the case of one former staffer for the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, a leading liberal and chairman of one of the key Senate committees. Donal Nexon went to work for the trade association representing small and mid-size manufacturers of medical devices, and was able to reduce a proposed $40 billion tax over ten years to one only half as largea $20 billion saving that dwarfs the lobbying expense.