HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Political Donations from Health Care Enterprises

The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog notes today that political contributions have started to flow toward the Democrats and away from the Republicans.  While this may partially be the result of the current lack of popularity of the President, it could mean that some sources are hoping to stop aggressive reform and benefit from some insurance reforms.  The Wall Street Journal's Jacob Goldstein writes,

From Jan. 1, 2007 through March of this year, people and political action committees in the health sector have contributed $42 million and to Democratic candidates for congress and the presidency, compared with $34.6 million to Republicans, Dow Jones Newswires reports. . . .  The figures come from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit group that tracks this kind of thing. They include gifts from people employed in the sector. The biggest donors are the American Dental Association, the American Hospital Association and PACs and people associated with Pfizer.

One obvious reason for the shift is the fact that the Democrats control Congress and will likely continue to do so after the November elections.  And on the presidential level, we’d point out that both Democratic candidates have called for a big expansion of health insurance coverage that would pour an additional $100 billion a year in federal funds into the health sector — plenty of new money to spend on health-care goods and services. John McCain’s health-care proposals, by contrast, wouldn’t put significantly more federal money into health.

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