DATA RELEASE: California State Senators Opposing Single-Payer Health Care Received Twice as Much Money from Health Insurance Industry

Feb. 4, 2010  - The California State Senate voted last week to pass a single-payer health care bill. Sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Rafael), the bill would prohibit the sale of any private health insurance policy in the state and establish a new California Healthcare System (CHS) as the primary payer for health care services in California. The vote was largely along party lines: 22 Democrats voted for the bill and one Democrat joined with 13 Republicans to vote against.

MAPLight.org found that senators who voted against single-payer health care, siding with health insurers, received an average of $43,633 each from health insurers and HMOs in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles—97 percent more than the $22,185 received by those voting for the bill. The one Democrat who crossed party lines, Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), received $56,782, which is 2.5 times as much as the average Senate Democrat. Correa received more than $8,000 each from Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California and United Health Care.

According to the most recent bill analysis, health insurance companies and HMOs opposing the bill include: America's Health Insurance Plans, Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies, California Association of Health Plans, California Association of Health Underwriters, Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net California. Other organizations such as Chamber of Commerce, California Independent Grocers Association, California Taxpayers' Association, Concerned Women for America and the National Federation of Independent Business oppose the bill, arguing that "competition among private companies leads to lower costs and better care."

The bill now moves to the Assembly. Gov. Schwarzenegger has vetoed similar bills in previous sessions (SB 840 in September 2006 and September 2008) and has pledged to veto this bill as well if it reaches his desk.

Contributions to California State Senator Campaign Committees from Health Insurance and HMO Interests, during the 2006 and 2008 election cycles

State Senator Party Vote on Single-Payer Health Care Campaign Contributions from Health Insurers/HMOs
Yee, Leland Democrat Yes $79,991.72
Negrete McLeod, Gloria Democrat Yes $74,694.78
Cox, Dave Republican No $68,084.24
Walters, Mimi Republican No $68,000.00
Cogdill, Dave Republican No $59,600.00
Correa, Lou Democrat No $56,782.16
Harman, Tom Republican No $52,150.00
Strickland, Tony Republican No $48,300.00
Calderon, Ron Democrat Yes $48,100.00
Aanestad, Sam Republican No $45,600.00
Maldonado, Abel Republican No $44,400.00
Denham, Jeff Republican No $44,384.25
Runner, George Republican No $40,425.00
Steinberg, Darrell Democrat Yes $38,899.27
Hollingsworth, Dennis Republican No $35,984.25
Padilla, Alex Democrat Yes $32,093.13
Simitian, S. Joseph Democrat Yes $26,550.00
Huff, Bob Republican Not Voting $25,906.67
Lowenthal, Alan Democrat Yes $22,900.00
Ducheny, Denise Moreno Democrat Yes $22,510.00
Wolk, Lois Democrat Yes $21,300.00
Wyland, Mark Republican No $21,200.00
Dutton, Bob Republican No $20,700.00
Alquist, Elaine Democrat Not Voting $20,130.25
Leno, Mark Democrat Yes $18,650.00
Price, Curren Democrat Yes $13,600.00
Hancock, Loni Democrat Yes $13,050.00
Wright, Rod Democrat Not Voting $12,200.00
Cedillo, Gilbert Democrat Yes $12,000.00
Florez, Dean Democrat Yes $10,000.00
DeSaulnier, Mark Democrat Yes $9,775.00
Kehoe, Christine Democrat Yes $9,305.00
Wiggins, Pat Democrat Yes $9,195.00
Pavley, Fran Democrat Yes $9,150.00
Liu, Carol Democrat Yes $7,200.00
Romero, Gloria Democrat Yes $7,000.00
Ashburn, Roy Republican No $5,250.00
Oropeza, Jenny Democrat Yes $2,000.00
Corbett, Ellen Democrat Yes $100.00

Methodology:

Campaign contributions data provided by the National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP), and includes campaign contributions from health insurance and HMO interests. Contributions to Abel Maldonado and Tony Strickland's 2006 campaigns for Controller are excluded. Date range of contributions: 2006 and 2008 election cycle contributions (January 1, 2005-December 31, 2008) coded by NIMSP as of January 22, 2010. Votes for the January 28, 2010 Senate vote on SB 810 are recorded in the Office of Legislative Counsel's LegInfo database.

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