$88M Donated to Health-Related Campaigns in Calif., Other States
Big businesses and individual donors contributed about $88 million to various health-related ballot measure campaigns during last year's midterm elections, most of which went toward California issues, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity, the AP/Santa Cruz Sentinel reports (Barrow, AP/Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/5).
Details of Analysis
For the analysis, the Center for Public Integrity collected finance records filed in each state to determine the top 50 contributors to ballot measure campaigns (Whyte, Center for Public Integrity/Time, 2/5). Finance records were collected for 85 different ballot measure campaigns through Jan. 9.
The total amount of spending includes contributions that groups and individuals made to political committees involved with the ballot measures. It does not include contributions to campaigns for smaller-scale ballot measures, contributions by groups excluded from disclosure requirements or direct political spending (AP/Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/5).
Overall, the top 50 donors contributed a total of about $272 million, $88 million of which went toward health-related initiatives (Center for Public Integrity/Time, 2/5).
In California, health care providers and insurers spent millions of dollars to defeat two ballot measures:
- Proposition 45, which would have given the state insurance commissioner the authority to reject health insurance rate increases; and
- Proposition 46, which would have increased the cap on pain-and-suffering awards in malpractice lawsuits and required random drug testing for doctors.
Opponents of Prop. 45 contributed more than $31 million for a campaign against the measure, compared with $2.6 million spent by supporters (AP/Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/5).
For example, Anthem Blue Cross -- the second-largest donor on ballot campaigns last year --spent $12.8 million to oppose Prop. 45 and $7,350 to oppose Prop. 46.
Meanwhile, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan -- which ranked third in the U.S. for spending on ballot measures -- spent $7.4 million to oppose Prop. 45 and $5 million to oppose Prop. 46 (Center for Public Integrity analysis, 2/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.