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What’s in a Signature?

Turns out, quite a lot of money.

We mentioned here last week that no fewer than 30 Senate Democrats are urging chamber leaders to include a public insurance option as part of the sweeping health reform bill to be weaved from separate proposals drafted by the Senate Finance and HELP committees. Those lawmakers sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) last week saying as much.

The folks at Maplight took the story a step further, crunching the campaign contributions of the senators who signed the letter relative to those who didn’t. The findings are hardly a surprise.

The 30 Senators who signed the letter in support of the public option received an average of $15,937 in campaign contributions from the health insurance industry between January 2003 and June 2009, 57% less than the $37,322 received by the 70 senators who did not sign the letter.

On top of that, Maplight found, the trend isn’t one particular to a single party. Indeed, among the 30 Democrats who didn’t sign the letter, the industry has donated an average of $34,400 over the same span — 54 percent more than those who endorsed the public plan, the group reported.

Who said there’s no bipartisanship in Washington?

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