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Health Insurance Industry Once Again Hoping Investment Pays Off
Date:12/3/2009

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by Common Cause and Public Campaign:

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is offering an amendment to the health care reform bill that would repeal the health insurance industry's legal exemptions for violations such as price fixing, bid rigging and market allocation. The insurance industry fiercely opposes the repeal, which would subject health insurance companies to the same federal antitrust laws that already apply to most other businesses.

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, health insurance companies have donated $17.5 million - an average of $176,574 per U.S. senator - since 1989 to current members of the Senate, who will likely vote on the amendment in the coming days.

Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who has received $536,846 from health insurance companies, has reportedly moved to block the amendment from inclusion in the Senate bill. He is one of 30 Senators who have received at least $200,000 from this industry since 1989.

The vote for continued legal immunity for health insurance companies will test the free market principles espoused by many Senators, as the existing antitrust exemptions for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies amounts to an unfair advantage for these companies. The free market principle assumes companies operate under the same rules.

"This is yet another example in the health care reform debate where the health insurance industry is hoping its $17.5 million investment in the U.S. Senate pays off," said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. "If we want policies that are truly in the public's interest - like this proposal to repeal legal protections for the health insurance industry - we need to take the special interests out of the business of funding political campaigns."

"The debate over this amendment and the influence of the health insurance industry shows that we need to dramatically alter the way campaigns are financed in this country," said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign. "It's time to pass the Fair Elections Now Act."




     Health Insurance Contributions to Members of the 111th
                       Congress, 1989-2009
     ------------------------------------------------------
Senator                                   State      Total
-------                                   -----      -----
Dodd, Chris*                                CT       $774,491
------------                                ---      --------
McCain, John                                AZ       $736,884
------------                                ---      --------
Kerry, John                                 MA       $687,434
-----------                                 ---      --------
Baucus, Max                                 MT       $675,349
-----------                                 ---      --------
Nelson, Ben                                 NE       $536,846
-----------                                 ---      --------
McConnell, Mitch                            KY       $523,877
----------------                            ---      --------
Grassley, Chuck                             IA       $493,149
---------------                             ---      --------
Ensign, John                                NV       $487,815
------------                                ---      --------
Bayh, Evan                                  IN       $471,338
----------                                  ---      --------
Lieberman, Joe                              CT       $448,066
--------------                              ---      --------
Hatch, Orrin G                              UT       $393,380
--------------                              ---      --------
Reid, Harry                                 NV       $388,350
-----------                                 ---      --------
Specter, Arlen*                             PA       $382,228
---------------                             ---      --------
Kyl, Jon                                    AZ       $360,968
--------                                    ---      --------
Conrad, Kent                                ND       $340,580
------------                                ---      --------
Shelby, Richard C                           AL       $331,450
-----------------                           ---      --------
Chambliss, Saxby                            GA       $322,023
----------------                            ---      --------
Schumer, Charles E                          NY       $316,200
------------------                          ---      --------
Collins, Susan M                            ME       $305,330
----------------                            ---      --------
Burr, Richard                               NC       $280,586
-------------                               ---      --------
Bunning, Jim                                KY       $254,437
------------                                ---      --------
Gregg, Judd                                 NH       $247,175
-----------                                 ---      --------
Enzi, Mike                                  WY       $243,250
----------                                  ---      --------
Carper, Tom                                 DE       $239,680
-----------                                 ---      --------
Lincoln, Blanche                            AR       $231,050
----------------                            ---      --------
Cardin, Ben                                 MD       $216,264
-----------                                 ---      --------
Isakson, Johnny                             GA       $208,900
---------------                             ---      --------
Menendez, Robert                            NJ       $206,725
----------------                            ---      --------
Crapo, Mike                                 ID       $206,450
-----------                                 ---      --------
Stabenow, Debbie                            MI       $200,050
----------------                            ---      --------
Sessions, Jeff                              AL       $196,537
--------------                              ---      --------
Alexander, Lamar                            TN       $195,150
----------------                            ---      --------
Bennett, Robert F                           UT       $192,505
-----------------                           ---      --------
Feinstein, Dianne                           CA       $183,660
-----------------                           ---      --------
Johnson, Tim                                SD       $175,950
------------                                ---      --------
Reed, Jack                                  RI       $170,400
----------                                  ---      --------
Harkin, Tom                                 IA       $168,556
-----------                                 ---      --------
Durbin, Dick*                               IL       $164,300
-------------                               ---      --------
Landrieu, Mary L                            LA       $162,158
----------------                            ---      --------
Dorgan, Byron L                             ND       $161,350
---------------                             ---      --------
Wyden, Ron                                  OR       $158,250
----------                                  ---      --------
Warner, Mark                                VA       $154,500
------------                                ---      --------
Levin, Carl                                 MI       $153,156
-----------                                 ---      --------
Lugar, Richard G                            IN       $152,663
----------------                            ---      --------
Rockefeller, Jay                            WV       $147,824
----------------                            ---      --------
Graham, Lindsey                             SC       $146,773
---------------                             ---      --------
Thune, John                                 SD       $144,216
-----------                                 ---      --------
Voinovich, George V                         OH       $143,340
-------------------                         ---      --------
Nelson, Bill                                FL       $140,462
------------                                ---      --------
Inhofe, James M                             OK       $140,204
---------------                             ---      --------
Bond, Christopher "Kit"                     MO       $140,150
-----------------------                     ---      --------
Snowe, Olympia J                            ME       $134,486
----------------                            ---      --------
Hutchison, Kay Bailey                       TX       $132,700
---------------------                       ---      --------
DeMint, James W                             SC       $131,710
---------------                             ---      --------
Cornyn, John                                TX       $128,675
------------                                ---      --------
Roberts, Pat                                KS       $126,600
------------                                ---      --------
Murray, Patty                               WA       $126,450
-------------                               ---      --------
Udall, Mark                                 CO       $108,650
-----------                                 ---      --------
Corker, Bob                                 TN       $108,125
-----------                                 ---      --------
Boxer, Barbara*                             CA       $107,570
---------------                             ---      --------
Mikulski, Barbara A                         MD        $86,950
-------------------                         ---       -------
Murkowski, Lisa                             AK        $86,450
---------------                             ---       -------
Klobuchar, Amy                              MN        $84,700
--------------                              ---       -------
Lautenberg, Frank R                         NJ        $81,800
-------------------                         ---       -------
Brown, Sherrod                              OH        $75,100
--------------                              ---       -------
Bingaman, Jeff                              NM        $72,207
--------------                              ---       -------
Brownback, Sam                              KS        $69,800
--------------                              ---       -------
Feingold, Russ                              WI        $69,159
--------------                              ---       -------
Wicker, Roger                               MS        $67,600
-------------                               ---       -------
Cochran, Thad                               MS        $67,000
-------------                               ---       -------
Pryor, Mark                                 AR        $67,000
-----------                                 ---       -------
Casey, Bob                                  PA        $61,537
----------                                  ---       -------
Barrasso, John A                            WY        $46,750
----------------                            ---       -------
Johanns, Michael O                          NE        $43,300
------------------                          ---       -------
Coburn, Tom                                 OK        $40,458
-----------                                 ---       -------
Franken, Al                                 MN        $36,750
-----------                                 ---       -------
Cantwell, Maria                             WA        $34,925
---------------                             ---       -------
McCaskill, Claire                           MO        $34,800
-----------------                           ---       -------
Udall, Tom                                  NM        $32,600
----------                                  ---       -------
Gillibrand, Kirsten*                        NY        $31,900
--------------------                        ---       -------
Vitter, David                               LA        $31,108
-------------                               ---       -------
Hagan, Kay R                                NC        $28,600
------------                                ---       -------
Leahy, Patrick                              VT        $27,300
--------------                              ---       -------
Inouye, Daniel K                            HI        $27,200
----------------                            ---       -------
Shaheen, Jeanne                             NH        $22,700
---------------                             ---       -------
Tester, Jon                                 MT        $22,150
-----------                                 ---       -------
Risch, James E                              ID        $21,250
--------------                              ---       -------
Whitehouse, Sheldon                         RI        $20,350
-------------------                         ---       -------
Begich, Mark                                AK        $16,800
------------                                ---       -------
Byrd, Robert C                              WV        $15,625
--------------                              ---       -------
Akaka, Daniel K                             HI        $14,030
---------------                             ---       -------
Merkley, Jeff                               OR        $11,750
-------------                               ---       -------
Webb, James                                 VA        $10,750
-----------                                 ---       -------
Bennet, Michael F                           CO         $7,000
-----------------                           ---        ------
Sanders, Bernie                             VT         $6,050
---------------                             ---        ------
Burris, Roland                              IL             $0
--------------                              ---           ---
Kohl, Herb                                  WI             $0
----------                                  ---           ---


Total                                             $17,480,844
-----                                             -----------




Source: Center for Responsive Politics
 (www.opensecrets.org)
--------------------------------------
Note: The health insurance totals include HMOs and health
 services and health and accident insurers.
---------------------------------------------------------
* Indicates that the Senator is a cosponsor of the Fair
 Elections Now Act, S. 752.
-------------------------------------------------------


SOURCE Common Cause and Public Campaign


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SOURCE Common Cause and Public Campaign
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