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Key health care senators have industry ties

Senator Chris Dodd, among other senators involved in upcoming health care legislation, have family ties or financial investments in the industry they are meant to reform.

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- Kyl, R-Ariz., the Senate minority whip, reported $15,001 to $50,000 in stock in Amgen Inc., which develops medical therapeutics. Kyl's retirement account held stakes in several health care businesses, including the Wyeth, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and AstraZeneca pharmaceutical companies; medical provider Tenet Healthcare Corp.; CVS Caremark prescription and health services company; Genentech, a biotherapeutics manufacturer; and insurer MetLife Inc.

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- Harkin, D-Iowa, has a joint ownership stake in health-related stocks. Harkin and his wife, Ruth Raduenz, own shares of drug makers Amgen and Genentech, Inc., each stake valued at $1,001 to $15,000; Their largest health care holding, Johnson & Johnson, was valued at $50,001 to $100,000.

- Hatch, R-Utah, a member of the Finance and Health committees, reported owning between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of stock in drug maker Pfizer Inc. He spoke to two pharmaceutical industry conferences last year. Sponsors of the conferences donated $3,500 to charities instead of speaking fees, as required by Senate rules.

Like millions of Americans, several senators took a financial hit in 2008. A sampling:

-Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., lost some $100,000 in equity in his home in Springfield and $35,000 in his Chicago condominium. Durbin, who released his tax returns, reported losing $32,259 in various investments last year, including more than $10,400 in Berkshire Hathaway and $5,535 in Fidelity stock.

-Kennedy in 2007 had four trusts each valued between $5,000,001-$25 million. In 2008, only one trust was still in that category while the rest had slipped in value to $1,000,001-$5 million.

-Hatch's investments suffered from the banking crisis. In 2007, he reported assets of between $2,002 and $30,000 in Countrywide Credit Industries Inc. stock. His 2008 financial disclosure lists the value at less than $1,000.

One of Dodd's investments showed a vast improvement.

A new appraisal more than doubled the value of his vacation cottage in Ireland, which has been subject of a Senate ethics complaint filed by a conservative group questioning if the undervalued property was really a gift.

The property is valued at 470,000 euros, or about $660,000, on Dodd's disclosure report. The previous year's report valued the seaside home, located in County Galway, at between $100,001 and $250,000.

DeAngelis, the spokesman, said Dodd and his wife decided to have the property appraised because they felt it was time to update the information.