Obama Health Law Stands: How does this impact election fundraising?
This article is re-posted from Opensecrets.org.
The Supreme Court’s historic preservation of President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul — including the controversial individual mandate — carries huge implications for Americans and how they purchase health insurance. While the full effects of the decision will not be felt until the law’s rollout is completed in 2014, the court’s ruling already has had an immediate impact on the political money race.
Opponents and supporters of the law immediately leaped on the decision as a messaging and fundraising opportunity. Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul tweeted that Mitt Romney has raised over $2 million since the court’s morning ruling — a figure likely to grow as debate over the ruling spreads. Others sending out fundraising appeals following the decision included fellow Republicans Rep. Steve King (IA) and Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also moved quickly to get in on the action, sending an email this morning celebrating the ruling and soliciting donations
Conservative groups that have spent millions attacking the law also jumped into action. One such group, Americans for Prosperity, told Politico within an hour of the decision that it is launching a $9 million advertising campaign opposing the legislation. AFP, founded by conservative billionaire David Koch, is a 501(c)(4) social welfare nonprofit, meaning that it is not required to disclose its donors. However, a Center for Responsive Politics investigation discovered that the group is the recipient of millions in grants from other nonprofits that appear to exist as vehicles to funnel anonymous contributions to support conservative 501(c) groups.
AFP received more than $1.9 million from the Center to Protect Patients’ Rights — a secretive non-profit that distributed more than $44 million in 2010 to conservative nonprofit groups.The Koch-family run Claude R. Lambe Foundation contributed another $504,725, and Donors Trust — a group which distributes the funds of its donors primarily among conservative organizations — gave over $7.4 million
The health sector was a major contributor to congressional candidates during the 2010 cycle, giving over $97 million to members of the 111th Congress. Pharmaceutical companies, insurance firms and health professionals were essentially even in their giving to Republicans and Democrats. Hospitals, nursing homes and labor groups, however, heavily favored Democrats.
And PACs and employees of health-related firms have already poured millions into the 2012 races.
As of the end of the first quarter of 2012, the top lifetime congressional recipients of health sector money were with 2008 presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) with over $11 million, 2004 White House hopeful Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) with nearly $10 million and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) with $5.5 million. This table shows the top congressional recipients of contributions from the health sector since 1989. And click here for a spreadsheet showing health sector contributions to all current lawmakers.
|Name||Health Sector 1989-2012||Health Sector 2012|
|Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)||$11,062,952||$3,850|
|Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)||$9,843,298||$94,595|
|Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)||$5,503,663||$685,597|
|Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)||$5,201,802||$1,178,274|
|Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)||$4,721,349||$1,082,321|
|Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)||$4,658,893||$798,050|
|Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)||$4,623,309||$1,150,675|
|Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD)||$4,510,210||$555,001|
|Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)||$4,183,984||$256,578|
|Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)||$4,161,249||$77,250|
Obama has been the biggest recipient of health dollars so far this cycle by a fair bit, with over $6.5 million, compared to second-place Romney‘s $4.2 million.
But nine of the top ten congressional health money recipients are Republicans. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) have all taken over $1 million from the health sector this election cycle.
Overall, Republicans in the current Congress have received $229,089,771 from health interests since 1989, while Democrats have received $205,355,027.
Today’s ruling was just one more hurdle cleared by the Affordable Care Act. As the bill was debated during the 2008 election and over the first year of Obama’s presidency, it both underwent major substantive changes — including the abandonment of Obama’s signature public insurance plan — and was lobbied extensively by a variety of interest groups.
Both the pharmaceutical and insurance industries spent over 1.4 billion each lobbying the federal government from 2008-2010. The Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers Association, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, America’s Health Insurance Plans and Pfizer spend tens of millions each on lobbying while supporting the individual mandate and opposing the public option.
The American Medical Association spent $43 million lobbying Washington; the group supported the House Democrats’ public insurance proposal, but opposed planned cuts to Medicare payment rates. The American Hospital Association was another big spender, allocating $41 million to lobbying while supporting the mandate and opposing both the public option and reduced reimbursements to hospitals.
Correction, 6/28: The text of this story has been changed to reflect the fact that Mitt Romney has received $4.2 million in contributions from health interests in the 2012 cycle, not $3.87 million as the post originally stated.