Subcommittee Republicans Rake in Big Bucks from Health and Insurance Industry

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The Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing Thursday entitled “Cutting the Red Tape: Saving Jobs from PPACA’s Harmful Regulations.”

The 16 Republican members(1) of the Health Subcommittee, all of whom voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act earlier this year, have received nearly $22 million in campaign contributions from the health sector and insurance industry(2) over their careers.

"Health care and insurance companies have showered these 16 Republicans with campaign cash and this hearing is just a return on that investment," said Nick Nyhart, executive director of Public Campaign Action Fund.

“The Republican Party functions like a wholly owned subsidiary of the health insurance companies,” said Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for America Now, the nation’s leading grassroots health care advocacy organization. “The health subcommittee’s GOP members got $22 million in health care industry contributions, and now they’re trying to steal $2 billion from consumers to boost the profits of their corporate patrons. This is an example of corporate special interests using their campaign contributions to exert influence, and this is why so many Americans are so alienated from our political system.”

Key Facts

  • Though they represent half of the Republicans members in the full committee, the subcommittee members have received 73% of the nearly $30 million in health and insurance money that has flowed to the 31 Republican members of the full committee.
  • Nine of the top 10 recipients of health and insurance money on the full committee sit on the subcommittee.
  • On average Health Subcommittee members have received nearly $1.4 million each from health and insurance industries.
  • The top five recipients have collected between $1.9 and $2.8 million each.

Top 5 Recipients, Career Campaign Contributions

From Health Sector and Insurance Industry

Member

Amount

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)

$2,780,287

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA)

$2,657,512

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)

$1,948,048

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)

$1,925,409

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY)

$1,877,897

Subcommittee Chairman Joseph Pitts

Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), chair of the Health Subcommittee, has received $1,045,819 from health and insurance interests over his career. Since January he has already received $187,789, making him the third highest recipient of health and insurance campaign giving in the 2012 cycle so far, after Rep. Upton and Rep. Gingrey.

Top 5 Recipients, 2012 Cycle Campaign Contributions

From Health Sector and Insurance Industry

Member

Amount

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)

$198,900

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA)

$195,800

Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA)

$187,789

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)

$157,638

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)

$113,850

Nearly all of the top organizational donors to Rep. Pitts this year are part of the health sector or insurance industry (only Comcast and Meyer-Chatfield represent other industries), including health sector lobbying firms Alston & Bird and Hercules Holding and the National Association of Health Underwriters, whose CEO, Janet Trautwein, is scheduled to testify at the subcommittee hearing on Thursday.

Rep. Pitts has received $4,000 from the National Association of Health Underwriters so far this year and received $1,000 from them in 2010.

Top Donors to Rep. Joseph Pitts, 2012 Cycle

Rank

Contributor

Total

1

Alston & Bird

$8,500

1

American College of Radiology

$8,500

3

American Health Care Assn

$6,000

3

Comcast Corp

$6,000

5

Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers

$5,000

5

College of American Pathologists

$5,000

5

Federation of American Hospitals

$5,000

5

Hercules Holding

$5,000

5

American College of Cardiology

$5,000

5

American Physical Therapy Assn

$5,000

5

American Society/Therapeutic Radiology

$5,000

12

American Optometric Assn

$4,000

12

Meyer-Chatfield Inc

$4,000

12

AstraZeneca PLC

$4,000

12

National Assn of Health Underwriters

$4,000

12

National Community Pharmacists Assn

$4,000

17

American Assn for Homecare

$3,754

18

American Hospital Assn

$3,535

19

AmerisourceBergen Corp

$3,500

19

Endo Pharmaceuticals

$3,500

19

Mylan Inc

$3,500

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1 This count includes Energy and Commerce Committee Chair, Fred Upton (R-Mich.). As the chair of the full committee, he is an “ex officio” member of the subcommittee.

2 Federal campaign contribution information is based on data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics. Under CRP’s categorization system, the “insurance” industry includes health insurance companies as well as other insurance types, such as life and property insurance. The “health” sector includes industries such as health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, and HMOs. “Career” numbers do not include contributions to the members’ leadership PACs.