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Aug 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. healthcare and insurance industries, with vital stakes in President Barack Obama's healthcare debate, have paid lobbyists at least $340 million to safeguard their interests in Washington this year.
Corporate political action committees and company employees have also channeled at least $27 million into federal campaign coffers for the 2010 congressional election cycle, with Democratic candidates the top beneficiaries.
Obama, a Democrat, has made overhauling healthcare his top domestic priority.
Following is a list of industry payments to lobbyists and campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans through the first half of 2009. The data is drawn from the Center for Responsive Politics website at www.opensecrets.org, which last updated its calculations for 2009 on Aug. 12.
LOBBYING CONTRIBUTIONS DEM vs REP Pharmaceuticals/ Health Products $134,458,183 $4,214,265 55 vs 45 Insurance $81,528,794 $7,001,898 55 vs 45 Hospitals/ Nursing Homes $50,330,605 $3,309,490 74 vs 26 Health Professionals $39,408,563 $10,665,060 58 vs 42 Health Services/HMOs $34,646,637 $1,781,080 65 vs 35
NOTE: Data on campaign contributions are based on donations of $200 or more from political action committees and individuals to federal candidates and from PAC, soft money and individual donors to political parties, as reported to the Federal Election Commission. The 2010 election cycle runs from Jan. 1, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2010. (Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Eric Beech)