HMO/Insurer Contributions to Assembly Health Committee Members On The Rise; All Legislation Expanding Medical Benefits Shelved
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home / healthcare / press releases

NEWS RELEASE
May 08, 2002


CONTACT: Emmy Rhine - 310-392-0522 x320

HMO/Insurer Contributions to Assembly Health Committee Members On The Rise; All Legislation Expanding Medical Benefits Shelved

As bills to increase access to necessary medical care and give HMO patients the right to trial race toward it, the California Assembly Health Committee is emerging as the major stronghold of HMO and insurer influence in the legislature, according to an analysis released today by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

With HMO and insurer contributions to Committee members already nearing $400,000.00 for the 2001/02 election cycle, Committee Chair Helen Thomson (D-Davis) has held all current benefit mandate bills for the remainder of the session, to be referred to a new Benefits Commission proposed for 2003. Included are measures that would require HMOs to allow ovarian cancer screening, bone marrow tests, hearing aids, and medically necessary prescription drugs.

Thomson has received a larger percentage of her contributions from insurers than any other committee member (16.91%). FTCR also reported that HMO and insurer contributions to a single member already reach as high as $51,400.00 (Frommer, D-Los Angeles, the incoming Health Committee Chair). The Speaker of the Assembly, Herb Wesson (D-Culver City), who has stood behind Thomson's decision to halt mandate bills, has accepted $194,683.00 from the insurance industry. Full comparison charts are attached.

"Health vs. wealth will be the true battle in the Assembly Health Committee as the popular will for new patient protections contends with the power of cash register politics," said Jamie Court, executive director of FTCR.

Interestingly, noted FTCR, the two newest additions to the Committee (as of March 12, 2002), Assemblymembers Strom-Martin (D-Duncans Mills) and Goldberg (D-Los Angeles) ranked the lowest in both total HMO/insurer contributions (with only $500 each) and in percentage of total contributions (2.5% and 0.41% respectively).

Blue Cross, CA Association of Health Plans, Association of California Insurance Companies, Blue Shield, and Health Net were the top five contributors to the Assembly Health Committee giving $36,250, $35,000, $19,450, $19,250, and $18,500 respectively.

###




Assembly Committee on Health Members
2001/2002 Insurer Contributions Comparison
(as of last Secretary of State Form 460 report date: 2/20/02; next report due: 7/31/02)



In Order of Greatest Total Insurer Contributions:



AssemblymemberTotal Insurer ContributionsTotal Contributions% Contributions from Insurers
Dario
Frommer
$51,400.00 $419,696.33 12.25%
Edward Chavez$42,250.00 $305,621.31 13.82%
Keith
Richman
$34,958.00 $273,754.12 12.77%
Patricia C.
Bates
$34,620.56 $261,033.90 13.26%
Rebecca
Cohn
$31,000.00 $311,464.22 9.95%
Samuel M. Aanestand,
Vice Chair
$25,750.00 $417,332.01 6.17%
Helen Thompson,
Chair
$25,550.00 $151,129.48 16.91%
Paul
Koretz
$23,518.80 $262,018.80 8.98%
Robert
Pacheco
$20,750.00 $123,600.00 16.79%
Charlene
Zettel
$17,000.00
$154,256.00 11.02%
Richard L.
Dickerson
$15,175.00 $303,547.90 5.00%
Wilma
Chan
$13,100.00 $273,974.00 4.78%
Simon
Salinas
$12,250.00 $144,613.82 8.47%
George
Runner
$11,750.00 $119,795.00 9.81%
Howard
Wayne
$8,500.00 $115,534.68 7.36%
Gloria Negrete
McLeod
$5,350.00
$143,097.33 3.74%
Carl
Washington
$1,500.00 $18,640.00 8.05%
Virginia
Strom-Martin
$500.00 $20,000.002.50%
Jackie
Goldberg
$500.00 $122,700.00 0.41%



In Order of Greatest % of Total Contributions:


AssemblymemberTotal Insurer ContributionsTotal Contributions% Contributions from
Insurers
Helen Thompson,
Chair
$25,550.00 $151,129.48 16.91%
Robert
Pacheco
$20,750.00 $123,600.00 16.79%
Edward Chavez$42,250.00 $305,621.31 13.82%
Patricia C.
Bates
$34,620.56 $261,033.90 13.26%
Keith
Richman
$34,958.00 $273,754.12 12.77%
Dario
Frommer
$51,400.00 $419,696.33 12.25%
Charlene
Zettel
$17,000.00
$154,256.00 11.02%
Rebecca
Cohn
$31,000.00 $311,464.22 9.95%
George
Runner
$11,750.00 $119,795.00 9.81%
Paul
Koretz
$23,518.80 $262,018.80 8.98%
Simon
Salinas
$12,250.00 $144,613.82 8.47%
Carl
Washington
$1,500.00 $18,640.00 8.05%
Howard
Wayne
$8,500.00 $115,534.68 7.36%
Samuel M. Aanestand,
Vice Chair
$25,750.00 $417,332.01 6.17%
Richard L.
Dickerson
$15,175.00 $303,547.90 5.00%
Wilma
Chan
$13,100.00 $273,974.00 4.78%
Gloria Negrete
McLeod
$5,350.00
$143,097.33 3.74%
Virginia
Strom-Martin
$500.00 $20,000.002.50%
Jackie
Goldberg
$500.00 $122,700.00 0.41%



Prepared By the non-profit, non partisan Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR)





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