Monday, May 08, 2006

Berry Joins Public Interest Groups to Unveil A Report on How Corrupt Lobbyists Shaped Medicare Part D

I joined two leading public interest groups today to unveil a report on the influence of lobbyists in crafting the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. As a member of the conference committee that drafted this legislation, I watched as Republicans worked with powerful pharmaceutical and insurance lobbyists to draft a bill that gives them billions of dollars in excess profits. There were even times when the Republicans on the committee shut the Democrats out of the room so they could conduct deals with these lobbyists.

The report specifically mentioned Rep. Billy Tauzin, who led the conference and later went to run the lobbying shop for the pharmaceutical industry. Here are some alarming facts about Mr. Tauzin:
  • Tauzin now receives $2 million a year in salary, perks, and benefits as CEO of the pharmaceutical inudstry's lobby shop.
  • Drug companies gave $87 million in campaign contributions between 1998 to 2005.
  • Tauzin received $218,000 in drug industry contributions between 1989 and his departure.

Click here if you would like to read the full report.