Big pharma veers to the left

Jeanne Cummings’ story on a shift in the political giving of the pharmaceutical industry in Tuesday’s Politico underscores an important point too often ignored in campaign finance debates: campaign contributions primarily follow ideology and do little to influence the way a legislator votes.

Cummings reports that Republican’s are "being denied the lion’s share of the industry’s donations for the first time in six election cycles."

Why? 

"The driving force behind the shift is market forces. The previous free-market business model under which drug costs were covered by commercial insurance or cash payments is dead. 

The growth of state and federal health care programs — including President Bush’s prescription drug plan for seniors — means that today about half of the pharmaceutical market is controlled by government.

That got the industry rethinking about how to position itself politically. And the future seems to be in ensuring that the government programs remain robust and generous.

That’s Democratic turf."

For more on the relationship between the size of government and campaign contributions see HERE.