Health insurance and provider interests increased their political contributions to $11.3 million during the first 13 months of the 1993-1994 congressional election cycle, up 22% over the previous cycle, according to a new report.
The study, released last week by Citizen Action, the Washington-based consumer group, listed contributions from insurance and provider political action committees and major individual donors.
The list of top contributors included the usual organizations, although the order was slightly different. The American Medical Association, the traditional frontrunner, was second with $411,569 in contributions, while the American Dental Association PAC topped the list with $474,847. Rounding out the top five contributors were the National Association of Life Underwriters, $359,310; the American Hospital Association, $326,850; and the American Chiropractic Association, $268,130.
The American Health Care Association, which represents more than 12,000 long-term-care facilities, was the 11th-leading healthcare provider contributor with $185,400, according to the report.
The largest recipient of PAC funds was Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who ran in a special election campaign during the period. Ms. Hutchison received $406,184 from health and insurance PACs and large donors.
Other leading Senate recipients were Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), who received $200,370, and Finance Committee member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who got $179,700. Mr. Hatch also sits on the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.
The leading House recipient was Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), the main sponsor of a leading managed competition-based healthcare reform plan widely seen as an alternative to the Clinton administration's reform plan. Interestingly, Mr. Cooper received no contributions from hospital, physician or pharmaceutical PACs but instead received all his funding from large donors. However, the report doesn't detail with what industries those donors may be affiliated.
The House member who ranked second in contributions was Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee, which recently passed its own healthcare reform legislation (March 28, p. 2).
House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) ($125,901) and Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) ($117,000) were third and fourth, respectively.
The author of the report, Michael Podhorzer, Citizen Action's campaigns director, said the increased donations showed the health and insurance industries are "desperate to prevent real healthcare reform."