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CNNMoney.com senior writer
The price tag to influence the health care debate in the halls of Congress has surpassed $600 million and is fast becoming a legislative record breaker.
Reaching beyond the half-billion mark, the total spent on lobbyists, television ads and political donations is enough to pay the insurance tab for about 45,000 families a year.
A third of that spending, $200 million, was raised and spent just in the past few months, as Congress has been more thoroughly ensconced in policy debates about public insurance options and taxpayer-funded abortions.
Senate Democrats are expected to unveil their official health care bill as soon as Wednesday, and debate it in December and vote by the year's end.
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