Washington, D.C.- The lobbying expenses of the top 13 health insurers and their industry association, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), were nearly $8.2 million in the third quarter of 2009 to influence Congress on upcoming health care legislation, according to analysis released today by the nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund (PCAF). The total marks an 11 percent increase over the pace of their spending in the first half of the year.
"Congress is marching toward pasing landmark legislation to overhaul the health care system and the health insurance industry fighting them every step of the way," said David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund. "These insurance giants may be running out of time, but clearly they haven't run out of political cash."
According to PCAF analysis, which was based on figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, these top insurers and AHIP have spent $22,957,382 to lobby Congress and the Administration from January through September. AHIP, the insurers' trade association, has spent more than $6 million this year. The analysis reviewed data for the top insurance companies as identified by Fortune magazine's rankings.
Total Aetna Inc. $1,441,639 $580,743 $2,022,382 AHIP $3,900,000 $2,410,000 $6,310,000 Amerigroup Corp. $215,000 $160,000 $385,000 Centene Corp. $230,000 $130,000 $260,000 Cigna Corp. $720,000 $260,000 $980,000 Coventry Health Care $300,000 $150,000 $450,000 Health Net Inc. $680,000 $330,000 $1,010,000 Healthspring $90,000 $60,000 $150,000 Humana Inc. $950,000 $900,000 $1,850,000 Molina Healthcare $270,000 $140,000 $410,000 UnitedHealth Group $2,500,000 $1,010,000 $3,510,000 Universal American Financial $865,000 $895,000 $1,760,000 WellCare Group $200,000 $70,000 $270,000 Wellpoint $2,420,000 $1,080,000 $3,500,000 Total $14,781,639 $8,175,743 $22,957,382
These insurance industries have invested heavily in expensive lobbyists and campaign contributions to make sure their needs are met while the rest of us are stuck with a broken health care system and little way to have our voices heard in Washington," said Donnelly. "It's time to sever the ties between special interest money and our elected officials. It's time to pass the Fair Elections Now Act."