in Houston, Texas
Health care industry donations shift to Republicans following passage of Obamacare
Monday, Feb 07, 2011, 10:23AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
medical equipment

Medical professionals opposed to President Obama's health care bill are putting their money where their tongue depressors are.


Political action committees representing all manner of health care professional shifted their contributions heavily to Republicans after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a story in today's Washington Post. With research help from the Center For Responsive Politics, the Post found that of the $42.7 million the health care industry contributed to Congress after the health care law passed, $25.7 million went to Republicans and $17 million to Democrats.

These political action committees, perhaps to influence voting on the bill in a House and Senate controlled by Democrats, had been donating a little more than half their money to Democrats prior to the vote, according to the study. 

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, while unable to block the health bill, has since March of 2010 collected $386,665 from health care and health insurance political action committees. Boehner led a Republican-controlled House to vote to repeal the health care law. The Senate, controlled by Democrats, voted against a repeal.

New House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., collected $477,750 during the same period, according to the study.

While the Post did not release its entire study, the nonpartisan Center, which specializes in tracking political contributions, shows 13 of the top 20 recipients of donations from health professionals in 2009-10 were Republicans. Not surprisingly, most on the list were either powerful in Congress or influential in House and Senate health-related committees.

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Flower Mound, the lone Texan and 19th on the list, received $291,406 during the 2009-10 period. Burgess is a licensed doctor, the founder and chairman of the Congressional Health Care Caucus and a member of at least eight other health care-related caucuses.

Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or

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Photo of medical tools by flickr user cjc4454, used via a Creative Commons license.

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