Bill to Regulate Health Insurance Rate Hikes Tips Toward Supporters
August 30, 2011 - A bill (AB 52) that would authorize a state government board to regulate changes in health insurance rates was passed on Aug. 25, 2011 by the California Senate Appropriations Committee and awaits a Senate floor vote before the end of the legislative session. The measure was supported by the International Association of Fire Fighters, the California Teachers Association, and AARP and was opposed by Blue Shield of California, UnitedHealth Group, and the California Chamber of Commerce.
Senate Appropriations Committee Vote
- Interest groups opposing the bill (Accident & health insurance, Nursing homes, HMOs, Hospitals, etc.) gave on average 49% more to Senators that voted 'NO' ($64,767) than to Senators that voted 'YES' ($43,483). In particular, Accident & health insurance on average gave 50% more to Senators that voted 'NO' ($21,650) than to Senators that voted 'YES' ($14,480).
- Interest groups supporting the bill (Police & fire fighters unions and associations, State & local government employee unions, Health worker unions, Teachers unions, Health care services, etc.) gave on average $191,850 to the six senators who approved the measure (all Democrats) in the Senate Appropriations Committee. These groups gave on average $57,725 to the three senators who voted against the measure (all Republicans).
Assembly Floor Vote
- In a vote before the full Assembly on June 2, 2011, 45 Democrats (and no Republicans) voted to pass the measure. Supporting groups gave over three times as much on average to Assemblymembers who voted "YES" ($90,529) as they gave those who voted "NO" ($28,756).
- Six Assembly Democrats did not vote on the measure, and one voted against it. These seven received on average 2.3 times as much ($31,932) from interest groups opposing the bill as the 45 Democrats who voted for it ($13,860).
- Interest groups opposing the measure gave on average 65% more to Assemblymembers that voted 'NO' ($22,854) than to Assemblymembers that voted 'YES' ($13,860).
Methodology: A MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to legislators in office on day of vote, from interest groups invested in the vote according to MapLight, January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2010 for Assemblymembers and January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2010 for senators. Campaign contributions data source: FollowTheMoney.org