Mitch McConnell and the Health Care Industry
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is not only one of health care reform’s most vocal opponents, he is also one of the largest recipients of campaign contributions from the health insurance industry -- more than half of a million dollars worth throughout his career. Having given 50 speeches from the Senate floor over the past few months opposing reform, that comes out to $10,478 per speech.
According to data complied by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. McConnell has received $523,877 from the health insurance industry throughout his career.
- Only five sitting senators have raised more money from the health insurance industry.
Sen. Mitch McConnell has been a significant public face of those opposed to reform, giving at least 50 speeches on the topic from the Senate floor, at an average “cost” to the health insurance industry of $10,478 apiece.
- According to the Washington Post, “He delivered his 50th floor speech since the beginning of June denouncing Democrats' health-care reform plans… Ninety-four times he warned of the evils of a "government-run" system…Forty-seven times he warned of a "government takeover" of the same. Fourteen times he railed against the Democrats' nefarious "experiment." [Washington Post, October 22, 2009]
- According to Roll Call, “A review of McConnell’s floor speeches and statements from mid-May to the end of July shows that the top GOP Senator was laying out the party’s strategy months in advance. Republican Senators later used the speeches to frame the party’s various critiques of the Democratic health care proposals.” [Roll Call, Nov. 18, 2009]
Sen. McConnell’s former staffers have gone on to lucrative careers as lobbyists for firms representing the health insurance industry.
- Daniel Boston, a former aide to Sen. McConnell, is a lobbyist with Health Policy Group. Among the firm’s 2009 clients (and fees) are health insurers Healthways ($10,000) and Centene ($90,000). [Center for Responsive Politics]
- Robin Bowen, a former legislative assistant for Sen. McConnell, is a lobbyist with McDermott, Will & Emery. The firm’s 2009 clients (and fees) include American Specialty Health Plans ($80,000). [Center for Responsive Politics]