Follow the Money… To the Hidden Interests

The Gem State Tea Party is releasing the results of some volunteer research that should seem very interesting to anyone truly following the money trial behind the highly motivated State Exchange legislation currently sitting in Idaho’s statehouse – Senate Bill 1042.  Of note, it is interesting that over $250,000 in contributions have been made recently to legislators by health lobbyists and health industry businesses, with over half of these funds coming from only 6 major funding sources.  See below for more details or read the full email as a pdf.  You can also see the full breakdown of who received what money in the Contributions by Legislative Member PDF.

If Idaho goes with a state exchange, then every business and every individual will face the direct imposition of new federal tax mandates. The only way businesses and individuals can access tax subsidies to counter higher premiums is through enrollment in a state exchange, this would mean turning over personal financial and health information. Idaho will have to pay to collect and report this information to the federal government. We present this information because we believe you need to know how much money was contributed by healthcare, insurance and related industry groups. While there is nothing wrong with lobbying per se, there is also nothing wrong with noting the contributions of the lobbying groups to legislators.

The top three recipients of donations from the insurance, healthcare and medical related industries were, Senator Dean Cameron- $21,300.00, House Health and Welfare Chairman Dr. Fred Wood – $16,050.00 and House Speaker Scott Bedke – $12,500.00. It also appears that none of these three had opponents in the 2012 election. We would like to thank our committee which was made up of volunteers. While we cannot guarantee 100% correctness of these numbers, we believe we have done a very thorough and careful job. These numbers only include donations to those who won election not the donations made to their opponents. We leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Below are the total donations and the six largest insurance companies and PAC’s
Total Contributions $254,790
Blue Cross ID   $34,950
Select Health  $28,800
Pacific Source  $11,150
Idaho Hospital Assn/PAC  $34,100
Idaho Medical Assn/PAC  $17,200
IHCA-ICAL PAC   $16,850.00

Original Sources:
Campaign Contribution breakdown – Gem State Tea Party
Campaign Contribution Letter  – Gem State Tea Party