"As the debate intensifies in Congress, health care sector contributions to lawmakers on the committees overseeing" proposals for health care reform "are on the upswing," according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. In the first half of 2009, "health care interests donated $19.7 million to all federal lawmakers. More than 40% -- $8.1 million -- went to the campaign and political action committees of lawmakers on the five House and Senate committees that are working on health care." Senator Charles Grassley, "the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee and a negotiator on efforts to forge a bipartisan compromise on President Obama's health care initiative," saw "his health care industry donations soar," from $53,200 in the first quarter to $125,800 in the second quarter of 2009. Six members of Congress received more health industry money than Grassley in the first half of 2009. Topping the list are Democratic Senators Blanche Lincoln, Charles Schumer and Ron Wyden, who all serve with Grassley on the Finance Committee.
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