Bernie Sanders won't accept donations from payers, pharma companies

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pledged July 17 to reject any donations over $200 from political action committees, lobbyists and executives of insurance and drug companies, and he called on fellow Democratic contenders to follow his lead.   

"It seems to me, if we are going to break the stranglehold of corporate interests over the healthcare needs of the American people, we have got to confront a Washington culture that is corrupt, that puts profits ahead of the needs of the people," Mr. Sanders said in a speech at Washington, D.C.-based George Washington University.

A press release on his website lists all the member companies of America's Health Insurance Plans and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America as off limits. Mr. Sanders said he will still accept donations from rank and file employees of those companies.

With his announcement, Mr. Sanders also challenged other Democrats to take the pledge. "Candidates who are not willing to take that pledge should explain to the American people why those corporate interests and their donations are a good investment for the healthcare industry," he said.

ABC News reported that Mr. Sanders has already accepted at least three donations during this campaign cycle that would be considered out of bounds under the new pledge. 


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