Senator John McCain returned to the Senate Chamber on Tuesday to cast a deciding vote allowing the legislative body to begin debating a bill put together behind closed doors by Republicans that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
And while many doctors and provider associations are opposed to a repeal — alongside at least half of Americans — major health industry players, especially on the insurance side, have been vocal in their opposition to the Affordable Care Act. In fact, the health industry donated millions more to Republicans than Democrats in every election cycle since 2010, as the Republican alternatives are expected to substantially enrich the industry.
So why would Senator McCain — who is treating his recently diagnosed brain cancer with taxpayer funded healthcare — vote to discuss a bill that could take healthcare away from around 32 million Americans?
Health industry professionals have overwhelmingly supported Republicans seeking federal office, and one could imagine McCain and others who benefit from that support might push policy that would be more financially beneficial to their benefactors.
Healthcare providers are among the top 5 contributors by industry to McCain’s campaign coffers, having given $7,184,854 since 1989, according to OpenSecrets.org.
When the insurance industry is factored in, total contributions from the health-related sectors amount to $25,272,446.
A full list of donors in the health and insurance industries provided by FollowTheMoney.org reveals that USAA, Humana, Liberty Mutual, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Cigna Corp, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors and others have been top donors to McCain throughout his career, providing as much as $20,000 (USAA’s contribution) each to his campaigns.
Selecting just for health industry contributions, here are some of the top donors to McCain ranked by contribution amount, from the Institute for Money in State Politics:
Here’s the top of the donor list when sorted by Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE):