ELECTED OFFICIALS VOTING AGAINST HEALTH REFORM RECEIVED 65% MORE IN INDUSTRY CAMPAIGN DONATIONS THAN THOSE VOTING FOR REFORM

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Monday, July 27, 2009    

 

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Rick Bielke: rbielke@publicampaign.org

ELECTED OFFICIAL VOTING AGAINST HEALTH REFORM RECEIVED 65% MORE IN CAMPAIGN DONATIONS FROM HEALTH AND INSURANCE INTERESTS THAN THOSE VOTING FOR REFORM

Study explores $187.1 million in health and insurance donations given to 193 members of Congress on five key committees with jurisdiction over health care bills

Members of committees where health reform is bottled up have received significantly more than their colleagues serving on committees that have already passed bills

Washington, D.C. – A new analysis of campaign contributions to members of key congressional committees handling health reform legislation found that members of three committees who voted against reform have received significantly more in campaign contributions from the health and insurance industries than those who voted for reform. In addition, the legislation appears to have been slowed in two final committees whose members received much more from the health and insurance industries than their colleagues on the three committees that have passed legislation, the study reported.

“These numbers tell a story that Americans already know to be true: committee members who voted in the interests of the health and insurance industries have received more money, on average, than those who didn’t,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund, the organization that conducted the study. “The blocs of lawmakers on both the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Finance Committees who are slowing the pace and scope of reform are also huge recipients of health and insurance money.”

The report, entitled “Five Committees, Three Votes: Advancing Health Care Reform Through the Swamp of $187 Million in Interested Political Money,” reviewed the lifetime campaign contributions from health and insurance interests, as coded by the Center for Responsive Politics, to members of Congress currently serving on the following committees: House Ways and Means; House Education and Labor; House Energy and Commerce; Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP); and Senate Finance. Comprehensive health reform legislation has passed three of the committees – House Ways and Means; House Education and Labor; and Senate HELP.

The research found that members on three congressional committees who voted against health care reform received, on average, $353,105 more from the health and insurance industries, or 65% more, than their colleagues who voted for reform.

Other findings included:

•    The seven Blue Dog House members who are negotiating with the Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman have received significantly more money from the industries than their Democratic colleagues on the committee.

•    The 82 members of the two committees that have yet to vote on legislation – the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Finance Committee – took nearly $100 million from health and insurance interests over their career.

“These findings point to the need for Congress to pass the Fair Elections Now Act, which would free elected officials from the pressures of fundraising,” commented Donnelly.

The full report can be found here: http://www.campaignmoney.org/threevotes.

Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to comprehensive campaign finance reform and to holding elected officials accountable for the favoritism they give to their big money contributors.

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