Obama Received $20 Million from Healthcare Industry in 2008 Campaign

Almost three times the amount given to McCain

by Brad Jacobson for the Raw Story

While some sunlight has been shed on the hefty sums shoveled into congressional campaign coffers in an effort to influence the Democrats’ massive healthcare bill, little attention has been focused on the far larger sums received by President Barack Obama while he was a candidate in 2008.

A new figure, based on an exclusive analysis created for Raw Story by the Center for Responsive Politics, shows that President Obama received a staggering $20,175,303 from the healthcare industry during the 2008 election cycle, nearly three times the amount of his presidential rival John McCain. McCain took in $7,758,289, the Center found.

The new figure, obtained by Raw Story through an independent custom research request performed by the Center for Responsive Politics — a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics — is the most comprehensive breakdown yet available of healthcare industry contributions to Obama during the 2008 election cycle.

Currently, the Center’s website shows that Obama received $19,462,986 from the health sector, which includes health professionals ($11.7m), health services/HMOs ($1.4m), hospitals/nursing homes ($3.3m) and pharmaceuticals/health products ($2.1m). Miscellaneous health donations (from which Obama received $860,411) are also factored into the current total health sector numbers but are not accessible on the site.

Health insurance industry contributions, however, are not included within the Center’s current health sector totals. Rather, contributions from the health insurance industry are contained within the site’s finance and insurance sector. Seeking a more complete total, the Center culled health and accident insurance donations from this sector (for which Obama received $712,317) and combined them with his existing health sector total ($19,462,986) to arrive at his healthcare industry total ($20,175,303).

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  1. Frank (Pancho) Valdez on January 14, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    It is painfully clear as to why Obama did not support single payer or Medicare For All at the beginning of the healthcare reform discussions.

    It is even more painfully clear that Obama along with most of our elected reps in Congress are all receiving bribes… ooops! I mean campaign contributions from the corporate healthcare moster.

    The ball is in our court. Do we continue to support the obviously corrupted, corporate dominated electoral system we have now, or do we seek a viable alternative? I for one opt for an alternative.

    • Zephyr on January 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      Frank (Pancho) Valdez is right! Obama surge voters and all progressives are disappointed with this White House. And rightly so!

      But let’s be clear, it is a HUGE undertaking to start and build a new political party. So daunting a task, in fact, that most third party efforts that do briefly blossom do not attract sufficient voters and it is a large turnout to obtain 15% of the vote. Consider the national vote counts for Ralph Nader in 1996, 2000, and 2004. Similar low numbers and resulting obscurity were seen for the ‘Independent’ candidate, Ross Perot. The Green Party barely has a pulse anymore.

      Wouldn’t it be nice for us to be offered some new political parties to choose from? How about the American Labor Party. Or how about the Peace and Justice Party? Regardless of the name, the idea of forming a new political party requires not only a strong leader, but the philosophy must attract voters in large numbers. Even the long-standing Libertarian Party isn’t doing much better than 15% at best.

      Much more easily done is to participate in the local Democratic Party and by your presence influence the activities and results of what the Democrats are doing with their existing machine. It means going to meetings and being an activist and devoting your energy and a part of your life to the cause. Next thing you know is that you will be donating money too. But it really is up to “we-the-people” to take back our government and undo the abuses that now beset us. Instead of just wishing for it to happen, we need to make it happen by doing real things to influence the process. Start today.

      • Bobby on January 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm

        This might sound harsh, however, in lieu of the material you shared about the Health Care industry paying off politians and
        the Republicans saying No to everything. Now the following is
        harsh and I am sorry for even thinking the thought. This is
        against my belief, however, if people making under $60,000
        a year were told do NOT support local charities as large
        secretarian hospitals, old and established organizations
        and there was a voice powerful enough to redirect these
        people to the Government and wealthy individuals.
        Look at it this way, the American people are being
        denied Health Care and a person with a family cannot
        afford the monthly payments. If your organization publicizes
        not to give and charity giving goes down over %50 to
        organizations that depend on public donations the Government,
        insurance companies and others would panic.
        Imagine if the media said, charitable giving is down in
        due to a protest for health care. We support the people of
        Haiti yes and we would hope big organizations would step up
        to the plate. But if you want to send a message. Tell people
        specifically making under $60,000 and below do not give cut
        your donation just maybe someone will get the message.
        Learn from the Republicans: Just Say No! Don’t Donate
        Save your money for your health insurance.

  2. John Barker on January 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Nothing is going to change until we have public financing of elections and we are not going to have public financing of elections and Medicare for All until there are mass marches of angry citizens on Washington and rioting in the streets. Martin Luther King had the right idea, we just need another Martin Luther King to lead the way to wrest corporate control of America and restore democracy to the people. The people we have now in government know they can ignore the people, tell the people what they should have and get away with it. They told us single payer was off the table, that our wishes do not matter and it isn’t going to have any effect on their re-election. They are right–we have no alternatives that would appeal to the masses and throw the bums out. Ralph Nader was the closest approximation of what is needed.

  3. Dalan on January 24, 2010 at 2:39 am

    Wow. The sad truth is that if democrats and progressives stopped donating to charities they would not be affected at all. Just look at any democrat politician’s tax return (assuming they actually paid their taxes). I am so thankful Obama was elected. He has successfully united and energized the conservatives in this nation like no other political figure has done since Jimmy Carter. And a special thank you to all who voted for him since it would have been much more difficult to fight back McCain’s less obvious progressive agenda.

    • John Barker on January 26, 2010 at 3:15 pm

      As if you Dalan, had any special knowledge of U. S. individual tax returns.

  4. Dalan on January 27, 2010 at 1:58 am

    WASHINGTON — Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife gave an average of $369 a year to charity during the past decade, his tax records show.

    WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 15) — In a 34-page 1997 federal tax return, Vice President Al Gore and wife Tipper reported giving $353 to charity.

    Consider the case of Andrew Cuomo, current New York Attorney General and advocate for the homeless. He has, according to his website, “compassion toward the most vulnerable of us.” […]

    But that advocacy should not be confused with actually giving to the less fortunate. Cuomo was a homeless advocate throughout the 1990s, but according to his own tax returns he made no charitable contributions between 1996 and 1999. In 2000 he donated a whopping $2,750. In 2004 and 2005, Cuomo had more than $1.5 million in adjusted gross income but gave a paltry $2,000 to charity.

    I can do this all day long if you like. I don’t typically consider reading a newspaper “special knowledge,” but call it what you will. Liberals, progressives and statists are very generous with other people’s money in the form of taxes, but not with there own. I was making $27,000 a year in 1997, and I gave more to charity than my Vice President. Typical.