OH-15: Mary Jo Kilroy Shakes Down Those Evil Drug Companies
From the Sunlight Foundation’s Party Time blog:
Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio) has supported legislation aimed at lowering prescription drug prices and creating more competition in the drug industry – efforts opposed by the powerful pharmaceutical lobby.
But as she runs for reelection, her campaign is relying on two lobbyists, Mary Anne Walsh and Jenny DiJames, who represent many drug makers and other health care concerns to host March 4 fundraiser for the Buckeye state freshman.
Many of DiJames’ clients are top tier drug companies, including Pfizer, in which Kilroy holds shares. DiJames’ firm, William & Jensen, lobbied on the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act of 2009, a bill that Kilroy co-sponsored. The bill, opposed by the drug industry, would require the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower prescription drug prices in a government-run prescription plan.
Walsh, the former chief of staff to Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), has donated $750 to Kilroy’s campaign since 2008. Other clients of hers include the Akron General Hospital Systems and the American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers.
Kilroy is also a key player pushing, along with other members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission, for an end to “pay for delay” drug settlements, in which pharmaceutical companies pay generic companies not to compete against their brand name products. These settlements delay the entry of lower-cost generic drugs on the market. A ban on “pay for delay” negotiations is contained in the House approved health care bill and is also in President Barack Obama’s recent health care proposal.
This is perhaps less surprising than you might think. Since Democrats aren’t attempting to pass truly socialized health care in reconciliation, the health care mandates is a huge handout to insurance companies and is corporatism of the worst kind. National Journal may list Kilroy, a former Socialist Party organizer, as Ohio’s most liberal member of congress, but that doesn’t mean she is above questionable fundraising tactics.