Special Interests Pony Up For Health Changes Their Way : Shots - Health News Money has flowed to key politicians involved in health overhaul--especially Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Special Interests Pony Up For Health Changes Their Way

Today's the day we'll finally get to see the recipe for health overhaul cooked up by Sen. Max Baucus, Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

He's been the focus of plenty of attention from the administration, the media and, of course, interest groups that have a lot at stake in how a health overhaul shakes out.

So would you be surprised to learn that Baucus has received $3.9 million in contributions from the health industry over the last two decades? The Associated Press reports that figure and says Baucus has gotten more money from health interests than any other elected federal official except President Obama and three other senators.

Take a look at Baucus data compiled by OpenSecrets.org, and you'll see three of the five top contributors to his political action committees in recent years have strong health-care agendas: health insurance powerhouse Blue Cross/Blue Shield and drugmakers Schering-Plough and Amgen.

Separately, some Tribune newspaper reporters looked at the turnabout at the American Medical Association, long an opponent of health overhaul and now a supporter of Obama's plans.

Critics say doctors will have a lot to gain from changes in the works and they won't be making many sacrifices to get them, the article says.

Sweet deal just for docs? Probably not. Robert Laszewski, a close watcher of the Washington health scene, told the Trib reporters all the big interests that had opposed reform, including insuraners and drugmakers, were essentially bought off.

Last month Laszewski wrote on his blog that contemplated cuts in federal health payments to providers of care would more than be made up for by the expansion of Medicaid and subsidized insurance for those without coverage today.