Mitch McConnell and Health Care

Every year, health care costs rise while insurance companies work harder and harder to deny benefits and exclude those with pre-existing conditions from obtaining coverage. Kentucky residents are particularly hard-hit, with 14.9 percent now going without any health insurance at all, and 17.1 percent without a specific source of ongoing primary care.[1]

Unfortunately, Sen. Mitch McConnell has consistently voted in favor of the health and insurance industries and against working Kentucky families. He has voted against requiring Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices[2] , voted against the patient’s bill of rights[3] , and voted against expanding children’s health insurance coverage under the SCHIP program.[4]

A close look at McConnell’s campaign finance data explains why, time and time again, he has put industry first and Kentuckians last. Since 1989, McConnell has received $3,948,762 from the health care industry, including $286,002 from executives and PACs of HMOs and health services, $1,120,532 from the insurance industry and $574,211 from the pharmaceutical industry.[5]

And of that nearly $4 million in contributions from all health care related donors, $1,597,180 has come in the 2008 cycle alone – more than three times what he has received in any previous two-year period. No one would doubt that both McConnell and his health care industry donors have gotten their money’s worth out of this arrangement.
 
 
[1] “Healthy Kentuckians 2010: Mid-Decade Review,” State of Kentucky Department of Public Health, 2005.
[2] Roll Call 132, 2007, Roll Call 60, 2005.
[3] Roll Call 220, 2001.
[4] Roll Call 403, 2007.
[5] Campaign finance and lobbying figures are based on Campaign Money Watch analysis of data obtained from the Center for Responsive Politics, http://www.opensecrets.org, a non-partisan organization that tracks and codes campaign finance data by industry and tracks lobbying. Campaign finance data include individual contributions ($200+) and from Political Action Committees (PACs) to campaign committees and leadership PACs. Data for the 2008 cycle were downloaded in October 2008.