Senators supporting public option received half as much money from health insurers

October 8, 2009 - Earlier today, 30 Senators wrote to Majority Leader Harry Reid, asking him to ensure that the Senate's final health care reform bill include a public insurance option. All Senators who signed the letter were either Democrats or Independents that caucus with the Democrats.

The 30 Senators who signed the letter in support of the public option received an average of $15,937 in campaign contributions from the health insurance industry between January 2003 and June 2009, 57% less than the $37,322 received by the 70 senators who did not sign the letter.

Omitting the 40 Senate Republicans, the numbers are similar: the 30 Senators who signed the letter in support of the public option received an average of $15,937 in campaign contributions from the health insurance industry between January 2003 and June 2009, 54% less than the $34,400 received by the 30 Senate Democrats (or Independents that caucus with Democrats) who did not sign the letter.

Campaign Contributions from Accident and Health Insurance Interests to Senators
Senator Party State Signed letter in support of public option Contributions (1/2003-6/2009)
Chambliss Republican GA Did not sign $122,900
Baucus Democrat MT Did not sign $100,550
Nelson Democrat NE Did not sign $90,873
McConnell Republican KY Did not sign $85,850
Hatch Republican UT Did not sign $84,550
Grassley Republican IA Did not sign $76,500
Stabenow Democrat MI Signed $75,950
DeMint Republican SC Did not sign $67,960
Burr Republican NC Did not sign $67,958
Graham Republican SC Did not sign $67,223
Specter Democrat PA Signed $66,150
Dodd Democrat CT Did not sign $63,856
Gregg Republican NH Did not sign $63,250
Kyl Republican AZ Did not sign $60,950
Lincoln Democrat AR Did not sign $60,500
Bayh Democrat IN Did not sign $59,000
Corker Republican TN Did not sign $58,675
Alexander Republican TN Did not sign $58,100
Collins Republican ME Did not sign $57,700
Levin Democrat MI Did not sign $55,600
Reid Democrat NV Did not sign $54,350
Murray Democrat WA Did not sign $51,500
Enzi Republican WY Did not sign $50,500
Voinovich Republican OH Did not sign $49,550
Bunning Republican KY Did not sign $44,000
Conrad Democrat ND Did not sign $43,000
Carper Democrat DE Did not sign $42,690
Ensign Republican NV Did not sign $40,000
Cornyn Republican TX Did not sign $39,175
Wyden Democrat OR Signed $38,400
Murkowski Republican AK Did not sign $37,200
Isakson Republican GA Did not sign $36,800
Warner Democrat VA Did not sign $36,750
McCain Republican AZ Did not sign $35,750
Harkin Democrat IA Did not sign $33,500
Johanns Republican NE Did not sign $32,300
Nelson Democrat FL Did not sign $31,950
Lieberman Independent CT Did not sign $31,500
Durbin Democrat IL Did not sign $30,925
Menéndez Democrat NJ Signed $30,500
Udall Democrat CO Did not sign $29,800
Sessions Republican AL Did not sign $29,000
Casey Democrat PA Signed $28,112
Cardin Democrat MD Signed $27,879
Landrieu Democrat LA Did not sign $27,550
Roberts Republican KS Did not sign $27,250
Wicker Republican MS Did not sign $27,000
Schumer Democrat NY Did not sign $26,500
Dorgan Democrat ND Did not sign $26,350
Barrasso Republican WY Did not sign $26,000
Snowe Republican ME Did not sign $25,500
Crapo Republican ID Did not sign $24,500
Pryor Democrat AR Did not sign $23,250
Feinstein Democrat CA Signed $23,000
Rockefeller Democrat WV Signed $22,474
Bingaman Democrat NM Did not sign $22,000
Thune Republican SD Did not sign $21,958
McCaskill Democrat MO Did not sign $19,600
Cochran Republican MS Did not sign $19,000
Feingold Democrat WI Signed $18,100
Hagan Democrat NC Did not sign $17,100
Bond Republican MO Did not sign $16,750
Reed Democrat RI Signed $16,000
Vitter Republican LA Did not sign $15,958
Bennett Republican UT Did not sign $15,500
Inhofe Republican OK Did not sign $15,000
Brownback Republican KS Did not sign $14,950
Lautenberg Democrat NJ Signed $14,500
Risch Republican ID Did not sign $14,500
Johnson Democrat SD Did not sign $14,250
Brown Democrat OH Signed $14,000
Hutchison Republican TX Did not sign $14,000
Shelby Republican AL Did not sign $13,500
Kerry Democrat MA Signed $13,050
Mikulski Democrat MD Signed $13,000
Coburn Republican OK Did not sign $12,208
Gillibrand Democrat NY Signed $12,000
Lugar Republican IN Did not sign $11,050
Klobuchar Democrat MN Did not sign $10,750
Begich Democrat AK Did not sign $10,300
Udall Democrat NM Signed $10,250
Whitehouse Democrat RI Signed $10,250
Boxer Democrat CA Signed $10,100
Tester Democrat MT Did not sign $9,500
Cantwell Democrat WA Signed $8,750
Leahy Democrat VT Signed $8,250
Byrd Democrat WV Did not sign $6,000
Merkley Democrat OR Signed $5,500
Akaka Democrat HI Signed $3,500
Franken Democrat MN Signed $3,350
Bennet Democrat CO Signed $2,000
Inouye Democrat HI Signed $2,000
Shaheen Democrat NH Did not sign $1,250
Webb Democrat VA Did not sign $1,250
Sanders Independent VT Signed $1,050
Burris Democrat IL Signed $0
Kaufman Democrat DE Signed $0
Kirk Democrat MA Signed $0
Kohl Democrat WI Signed $0
LeMieux Republican FL Did not sign $0
 
Average received by the 30 Senators who signed letter $15,937
Average received by the 70 Senators who did not sign letter $37,322
Average received by the 30 non-Republican Senators who did not sign letter $34,400
 

Methodology:

Campaign contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets Open Data. Date range of contributions is January 2003 through June 2009. Contributions to presidential campaigns (Dodd, Kerry, Lieberman, McCain) are omitted. The October 8, 2009 letter in support of the public option is published at Talking Points Memo.

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