Health sector spends record-breaking $200 million on U.S. election

The biomedical industry spent big on this year's U.S. election cycle, pouring millions into campaign funds and PACs, hoping to influence the vote.
Written by Janet Fang, Contributor

The health sector -- including the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, health insurance providers, hospitals and organizations representing heath care professionals -- poured more than $193 million into campaign coffers and political action committees (PACs) in hopes of influencing the 6 November vote of the U.S. elections. Nature News reports.

That record breaking number -- from the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan group that analyzes political spending -- is 9 percent greater than what the sector spent during the 2008 election.

More money was contributed to U.S. President Barack Obama than to Mitt Romney. But if you consider congressional races, Republicans received about 56 percent of all health sector contributions, in keeping with long-term trends.

About $38 million of the total was given over to SuperPACs and other 'outside' groups, who in turn spend the money on political advertisements.

Some big donors in this election cycle:

  • Topping the list is the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Clinic for Drug Abuse Treatment and Research (Las Vegas). The clinic has given $20 million, with half going towards Restore our Future, an independent conservative super PAC that endorses Romney.
  • The Cooperative of American Physicians (Los Angeles), which seeks to influence malpractice liability reform, spent about $2.1 million, most of it in the form of 'outside' contributions.
  • Drug company Pfizer (New York), the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (Rosemont, Illinois), and the American College of Radiology (Reston, Virginia) all spent around $1.5 million.
  • Biotech company Amgen (Thousand Oaks, California) gave $1.2 million, split about evenly between direct contributions to candidates in both political parties.
  • Companies based outside of the U.S. are permitted to donate if they have U.S. subsidiaries. The British-Swiss drug company AstraZeneca (London) gave $941,000.

[Via Nature News]

Image by Tax Credits via Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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