Friday, June 23, 2017

Buying Influence in Washington - The Health Care Sector

With the Republican mantra "we must repeal Obamacare at all costs" ringing through the halls of Congress and the most recent announcement about its replacement, it's interesting to see exactly who in Congress has been the recipient of largesse from the health care industry, the part of Corporate America which has the most to win and lose in the health care battle.  Thanks to the Center for Responsive Politics, we can now see how much money the members of the 115th Congress have received from the health care sector.  For the purposes of this study, the health care industry includes health insurance and HMOs, health professionals, hospitals and nursing homes, health services as well as pharmaceuticals and health products.   

Let's start by looking at the health care sector donations from 2012 to 2016 for the top 10 Senate Republicans recipients:


The top ten recipients of health care sector donations received a total of $24.106 million over the four year period.

As well, we must keep in mind that Mitch McConnell's handpicked Senate health care working group has the following members, most of whom appear on the listing of major recipients above:

Mitch McConnell
Orrin Hatch
John Cornyn
Pat Toomey
Robert Portman
Lamar Alexander
John Barrasso
John Thune
Mike Enzi
Ted Cruz
Cory Gardner
Mike Lee

These 13 gentlemen have received a total of $18.1 million in campaign contributions since 2012, giving them plenty to think about while they debate America's next kick at the health care "can".

Here is a graph showing the health care sector donations from 2012 to 2016 for the top 10 Senate Democrats recipients:


While not quite as large as their Republican counterparts, the top 10 Democratic Senators received a total of $18.169 million from the health care sector over the four year period.

Here is a graph showing the health care sector donations for the 2016 election cycle for the top 10 House Republican recipients:


The top ten House Republican recipients received a total of $10.726 million in donations during the 2016 election cycle alone.

Lastly, here is a graph showing the health care sector donations for the 2016 election cycle for the top 10 House Democrat recipients:


The top ten House Democrat recipients received a total of $6.484 million in donations during the 2016 election cycle alone.

Obviously, as we can see from this information, the health care business in the United States is vastly influential at the political level and willing to pay handsomely to get access to the hallowed halls of Congress.  The health care sector successfully shaped the Affordable Care Act during the Obama Administration and there is no reason to believe that it will be any less successful at prodding Congress to change the laws to benefit itself under the Trump Administration.  Repealing and replacing Obamacare with the American Health Care Act will certainly make one sector even wealthier than it already is and, at the same time, cost American taxpayers billions of dollars.


1 comment:

  1. follow the $$$ -> both parties are criminals, and thoroughly captured.

    ReplyDelete