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Big Pharma & Insurance Gave $43M to 129 House Democrats Not Backing Medicare for All

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) recently rolled out House Democrats’ version of a Medicare for All proposal that would ensure all Americ...

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) recently rolled out House Democrats’ version of a Medicare for All proposal that would ensure all Americans have guaranteed healthcare.

by Carl Gibson

The bill (H.R. 1384) has an impressive 106 co-sponsors, and has been called “the most ambitious Medicare-for-All plan yet” by Vox, which also reported the benefits the House bill contained were even more significant than the companion bill Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) first introduced in his chamber.

Under Jayapal’s plan, private, for-profit health insurance plans would be eliminated, and all Americans would be covered by a government-administered single-payer healthcare plan.


Additionally, Rep. Jayapal’s bill — the Medicare for All Act of 2019 — calls for a two-year transition from the current system to the one she proposes, rather than a four-year transition, as Sanders proposed. The House bill would put everyone under the age of 19 and over the age of 55 on the single-payer plan after one year, and then everyone in between the following year.

“We will be pushing it as hard as we can and as fast as we can,” Rep. Jayapal said. “Enough nibbling around the edges. We really need to transform the system.”

Should the House bill become law, the system that would replace Medicaid and Medicare (healthcare programs for veterans and Indigenous peoples would remain) would provide even more coverage than the universal healthcare system in Canada, as Jayapal’s plan would cover long-term care services for nursing services.

Americans would no longer have to come up with emergency room co-pays or fees for doctor’s visits. The only out-of-pocket spending would be on prescription drugs — which would come at a lower price due to the government negotiating on patients’ behalf.

However impressive 106 House Democrats co-sponsoring the bill may be, that number falls short of the 218 votes needed for a bill to pass the House of Representatives with a majority vote. Even though there are 235 House Democrats, 112 of the 129 House Democrats currently not listed as co-sponsors on Rep. Jayapal’s bill would need to come on board in order for the bill to be able to pass the chamber and go to the Senate.

As Grit Post reported last year, private health insurance companies (and pharmaceutical drug manufacturers) were spending big on making sure that Senate Democrats up for re-election in competitive races would allow the for-profit system to remain in place. And according to new research, it appears that the healthcare industry’s robust election spending also benefited House Democrats.

Using campaign finance data made publicly available by the Center for Responsive Politics, Grit Post calculated that donors in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries gave a combined $43,740,947 in career campaign donations to the 130 House Democrats who have not yet signed on as co-sponsors to Rep. Jayapal’s bill. House Democrats received anywhere from $9,570 in financial support from pharma and insurance to $3.2 million, depending on the member.

Of those 130 House Democrats not yet co-sponsoring the Medicare for All Act of 2019, 48 of them were elected in the “blue wave” of 2018. Additionally, not one member of House Democrats’ leadership has co-sponsored the bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), and House Democratic Caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York) have all received generous donations from pharma and insurance (Hoyer alone received more than $2.5 million in career donations) throughout their Congressional careers.

Below are the names of all 130 House Democrats not co-sponsoring H.R. 1384, in alphabetical order. In some cases, donor data is not available, as that member is brand-new to Congress and their campaign finance reports have not yet been added to the OpenSecrets.org database. In other cases, like that of Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii), members’ data is incomplete, as they have been redistricted to a new district, leaving a gap in campaign finance data.

Notations have also been made for House Democrats whose top donors are from the insurance and/or pharma industries. A star* denotes House Democratic leadership.

Press CTRL+F (or command+f on Mac) and type your representative’s name to see if they’re on this list.

1. Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-California)
$246,337 since 2011
2. Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas)
$65,815 since 2017
3. Rep. Cynthia Axne (D-Iowa)

(No data available)
4. Rep. Ami Bera (D-California)
$701,579 since 2009
5. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia)
$440,605 since 1991
6. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware)
$132,376 since 2015
7. Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-New York)
$42,832 since 2017
8. Rep. Julia Brownley (D-California)
$146,246 since 2011
9. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois)
$384,569 since 2011
10. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-North Carolina)
Pharma is #1 career donor
$595,661 since 2003
11. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-California)
$50,710 since 2017
12. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-California)
Pharma is #1 career donor
$445,841 since 2011
13. Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii)
$3,500 from insurance since 2017, no previous data available (Case has been in office since 2002)
14. Rep. Sean Casten (D-Illinois)
$46,186 since 2017
15. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Florida)
$178,726 since 2005
16. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas)
$162,137 since 2011
17. Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-California)
$29,388 since 2017
*18. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina)
$1,497,893 since 1991
19. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia)
$196,350 since 2007
20. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tennessee)
$388,309 since 1989
21. Rep. Lou Correa (D-California)
$150,370 since 2015
22. Rep. Jim Costa (D-California)
$127,550 since 2003
23. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Connecticut)
$582,823 since 2001
24. Rep. TJ Cox (D-California)
$19,702 since 2017
25. Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minnesota)
$109,106 since 2017
26. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Florida)
$317,960 since 1995
27. Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colorado)
$52,079 since 2017
28. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)
$341,500 since 2001
29. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland)
$124,475 since 1995
30. Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-South Carolina)
$15,803 since 2017
31. Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas)
$36,142 since 2017
32. Rep. Susan Davis (D-California)
$151,760 since 1999
33. Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pennsylvania)
$28,025 since 2017
34. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut)
$414,578 since 1989
35. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Washington)
$391,000 since 2009
36. Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-New York)
$76,579 since 2017
37. Rep. Val Demings (D-Florida)
$59,335 since 2011 (2011-2017 data unavailable)
38. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Florida)
$121,255 since 2009
39. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas)
$218,948 since 1989
40. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-California)
pharma is #1 donor
$1,822,033 since 1989
41. Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pennsylvania)
$80,016 since 2015
42. Rep. Abbie Finkenauer (D-Iowa)
$41,678 since 2017
43. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas)
$39,511 since 2017
44. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Illinois)
$606,819 since 2007
45. Rep. John Garamendi (D-California)
$274,857 since 2009
46. Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas)
$16,264 since 2017
47. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-New Jersey)
$415,572 since 2015
48. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Connecticut)
$1,279,055 since 2007
49. Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Oklahoma)
$9,570 since 2017
50. Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nevada)
$13,771 since 2017
51. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pennsylvania)
$69,441 since 2017
*52. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland)
$2,598,432 since 1989
*53. House Democratic Caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York)
$129,742 since 2011
54. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas)
$32,200 since 1991
55. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)
$55,956 since 1989
56. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Michigan)
$252,505 since 2011
57. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Washington)
$325,808 since 2011
58. Rep. Andy Kim (D-New Jersey)
$76,163 since 2017
59. Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin)
Insurance is #1 donor
Pharma is #3 donor
$2,362,484 since 1995
60. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois)
$222,770 since 2011
61. Rep. Ann Kuster (D-New Hampshire)
$309,652 since 2009
62. Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pennsylvania)
$93,849 since 2017
63. Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Washington)
$312,250 since 1999
64. Rep. John Larson (D-Connecticut)
Insurance is #1 donor
$2,126,131 since 1997
65. Rep. Al Lawson (D-Florida)
$99,300 since 2009
66. Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nevada)
$51,728 since 2017
67. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois)
$67,150 since 2003
68. Rep. David Loebsack (D-Iowa)
$331,877 since 2005
69. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California)
$365,603 since 1993
70. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-New Mexico)
$505,383 since 2007
71. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Virginia)
$26,889 since 2017
72. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Massachusetts)
$439,984 since 2001
73. Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-New Jersey)
$90,854 since 2017
74. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-New York)
$352,271 since 2011
75. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-California)
$615,250 since 2005
76. Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah)
$37,859 since 2017
77. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Georgia)
$17,474 since 2017
78. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota)
$113,050 since 1999
79. Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Virginia)
$11,635 since 2017
80. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wisconsin)
Insurance is #1 donor
$769,701 since 2003
81. Rep. Joseph Morelle (D-New York)
$77,025 since 2017
82. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Massachusetts)
$363,911 since 2013
83. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Florida)
$47,951 since 2017
84. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Florida)
$170,202 since 2015
85. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts)
Insurance is #1 donor
Pharma is #4 donor
$3,200,177 since 1989
86. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-New Jersey)
$277,800 since 2013
87. Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Arizona)
$141,600 since 2015
88. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey)
Pharma is #2 donor
$1,902,778 since 1989
89. Rep. Chris Pappas (D-New Hampshire)
$26,635 since 2017
90. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey)
$1,102,618 since 1995
*91. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California)
$1,029,376 since 1989
92. Rep. Scott Peters (D-California)
$662,678 since 2011
93. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota)
$188,000 since 1989
94. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minnesota)
$63,290 since 2017
95. Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands)
$23,700 since 2011
96. Rep. David Price (D-North Carolina)
$557,422 since 1989
97. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Illinois)
$128,367 since 2007
98. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-New York)
$73,406 since 2017
99. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana)
$280,200 since 2007
100. Rep. Max Rose (D-New York)
$33,698 since 2017
101. Rep. Harley Rouda (D-California)
$57,583 since 2017
102. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-California)
$341,258 since 2011
103. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland)
$136,040 since 2001
104. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pennsylvania)
$27,525 since 2017
105. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Illinois)
$514,617 since 2011
106. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon)
Pharma is #2 donor
$776,699 since 2007
107. Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Washington)
$75,749 since 2017
108. Rep. David Scott (D-Georgia)
Insurance is #2 donor
$814,349 since 2001
109. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Alabama)
Insurance is #2 donor
$773,065 since 2009
110. Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Florida)
$41,412 since 2017
111. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California)
$680,780 since 1995
112. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-New Jersey)
$168,010 since 2017
113. Rep. Albio Sires (D-New Jersey)
$210,950 since 2005
114. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan)
$52,618 since 2017
115. Rep. Darren Soto (D-Florida)
$106,865 since 2015
116. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia)
$88,946 since 2017
117. Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Arizona)
$18,364 since 2017
118. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Michigan)
$35,972 since 2017
119. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-New York)
$201,085 since 2015
120. Rep. Norma Torres (D-California)
$100,000 since 2013
121. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-New Mexico)
$32,213 since 2017
122. Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Massachusetts)
$43,772 since 2017
123. Rep. David Trone (D-Maryland)
$14,150 since 2017
124. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Illinois)
$39,099 since 2017
125. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-New Jersey)
$38,482 since 2017
126. Rep. Juan Vargas (D-California)
Insurance is #1 donor
$709,431 since 1991
127. Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas)
$73,350 since 2011
128. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida)
$470,730 since 2003
129. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Kentucky)
$168,262 since 2005

About the writer: Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. 

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