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Watchdog Group Blasts McConnell for Putting Insurance Donors Before Health Care Reform
Date:6/8/2009

WASHINGTON, June 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a statement issued today, the nonpartisan watchdog group Public Campaign Action Fund denounced Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) recent statements opposing health care reform as "hazardous to America's health, and a gift to profitable insurance industry donors at the expense of working families and small business owners in Kentucky."

The New York Times cited Sen. McConnell's opposition to health care legislation that includes a public insurance option in Sunday's coverage.

"Sen. McConnell hides behind the concept of 'bipartisanship' in his opposition to reform, but what he's really doing is carrying water for his health and insurance industry donors," said David Donnelly, National Campaigns Director of Public Campaign Action Fund. "We need to change the way Washington works so that our government meets the needs of everyday Americans, not the interests of the insurance and health care lobbyists and their clients."

According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. McConnell has received $2,758,468 in campaign contributions over his career from the health sector, and another $932,207 from the insurance industry. He ranks 5th and 9th of all sitting Senators in campaign contributions from the health sector and insurance industry, respectively. Below is a chart of some of the health and insurance industry totals, with McConnell's rank among sitting Senators:


  

Industry Lifetime Total Rank in Senate

HMOs $281,452 5th

Health Professionals $1,441,341 5th

Insurance $932,207 9th

Pharmaceuticals/Products $477,649 11th

Hospitals/Nursing Homes $503,475 5th

"Sen. McConnell's position against real health care reform is hazardous to America's health, and a gift to profitable insurance industry donors at the expense of working families and small business owners in Kentucky," commented Donnelly. "Ironically, the one group McConnell doesn't take much money from is chiropractors, with less than $5,000 over his career. Perhaps that demonstrates that when it comes to standing up to donors, he has no backbone."

Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonprofit dedicated to comprehensive public financing of elections, and to holding anti-reform politicians accountable for the favors they give to their wealthy donors.


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SOURCE Public Campaign Action Fund
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