Healthcare Bill Can’t Make it Past Insurer Money

Owen Poindexter | September 24, 2010

AB 2578 would, among other things, require insurance companies to get government approval before increasing rates of the premium, copayment, coinsurance obligation, deductible, and other charges under health care service plan contracts or health insurance policies, other than Medicare supplement, dental-only, or vision-only contracts or policies.

The measure failed (16-19) in the senate on August 31, 2010 when five Democrats joined all Republicans in voting against it, another four Democrats did not vote. These nine Democrats received 65% more from all recorded opposing groups compared to totals from supporting groups.

The bill was backed by unions, most notably teachers unions, and opposed by insurance companies and physicians. Based on the August 31 vote, teachers unions gave nearly 3.5 times as much to senators voting 'yes' as to those voting 'no.' On the other side, Senators voting 'no' received roughly 3.2 times as much from accident & health insurance companies compared to those voting 'yes.'

Includes reported contributions to of Senators in office on day of vote, from Teachers unionsAccident & health insurance, interest groups, July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2010. Contributions data provided by the National Institute on Money in State Politics (