Rep. Whitfield Falsely Claims Insurance Companies Supported The Affordable Care Act

January 19, 2011 4:11 pm ET

Rep. Ed Whitfield, (R-KY) speaking on the House floor this afternoon, claimed Republicans couldn't be accused of representing the interests of insurance companies because insurance companies supported The Affordable Care Act. In reality, insurance companies funneled nearly $100 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in order to "drum up opposition" to health care reform through a massive lobbying and advertising campaign.

Rep. Whitfield: "Insurance Companies Supported The Bill"

Rep. Whitfield:

I'm delighted we have the opportunity today to revisit the health care bill that was passed last year. I'm delighted because, first of all, when the bill came to the floor last year, this bill affects every aspect of health care in America and we did not have the opportunity to offer one amendment on the floor. In addition to that, this bill takes 500 billion dollars out of Medicare, which means, less money to nursing homes, hospitals, and Medicare beneficiaries, and then the claim that this would reduce the deficit by 138 billion dollars was calculated by including ten years of tax revenues under this bill, but only six years of expenditures, and then how can you claim that we're supporting insurance companies by repealing this bill when the insurance companies supported the bill? And they supported the bill because it mandates that small businesses and individuals buy health insurance. So I would urge repeal of this legislation, and then we can fix health care the way it should be fixed. [Whitfield Floor Speech, 1/19/11]

Health Insurers Spent Millions To "Drum Up Opposition" To The Affordable Care Act

Health Insurers Gave $86.2 Million To "Drum Up Opposition" To Health Care Reform. According to Bloomberg: "Health insurers last year gave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce $86.2 million that was used to oppose the health-care overhaul law, according to tax records and people familiar with the donation. ... The $86.2 million paid for advertisements, polling and grass roots events to drum up opposition to the bill, said Tom Collamore, a Chamber of Commerce spokesman. The Chamber said in a statement it used the funds to 'advance a market-based health-care system and advocate for fundamental reform that would improve access to quality care while lowering costs.'" [Bloomberg, 11/17/10]

Six Top Health Insurers Funneled Tens Of Millions In Anti-Health Care Campaign. According to the National Journal: "Just as dealings with the Obama administration and congressional Democrats soured last summer, six of the nation's biggest health insurers began quietly pumping big money into third-party television ads aimed at killing or significantly modifying the major health reform bills moving through Congress. ... The funds were solicited by AHIP and funneled to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help underwrite tens of millions of dollars of television ads by two business coalitions set up and subsidized by the chamber. ... The U.S. Chamber has spent approximately $70 million to $100 million on the advertising effort, according to lobbying sources." [National Journal, 1/12/10]