Health Insurance Industry Supports Reform but Gives Bigger Bucks to Opponents
Their lips may say “yes,” but their contributions say “no way.”
While publicly supporting President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plan, health insurance companies have given millions of dollars to Republicans dedicated to repealing it.
From the industry’s top trade group to the largest insurers, executives endorsed Obama’s plan to impose significant changes on medical care. But a review of campaign contributions from 2007 to 2012 by the Center for Public Integrity revealed the industry’s political action committees distributed $10.2 million to federal politicians, with about two-thirds going to Republicans who oppose the law or support its repeal.
The top recipient of the PAC money was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who received $258,000 and sponsored the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.”
Another leading recipient is Wisconsin congressman and GOP presidential running mate Paul Ryan, who accepted $187,000. Ryan has sponsored two bills this year that call for repealing the law.
Insurance companies like some aspects of the law, such as the mandate for all Americans to have coverage (which would increase the number of policyholders). But they hate other parts of it, like having to spend 80% of premiums on medical care.
According to OpenSecrets.org, each of the Top 20 insurance company contributors in fiscal year 2011-12 gave more to Republicans that Democrats. New York Life Insurance gave 56% of its $2.08 million contribution to the GOP, followed by Blue Cross/Blue Shield (66% o $1.84 million), American Financial Group (46% of $1.58 million to GOP; zero to Dems; and the rest to outside spending groups), AFLAC Inc. (59% of $1.55 million) and USAA (74% of $1.2 million).
To Learn More:
Health Insurance PACs Have Love-Hate Relationship with Health Care Reform (by Reity O’Brien, The Center for Public Integrity)
Top Health Insurance PAC Contributors, January 2007-August 2012 (The Center for Public Integrity)
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