BCBSA cuts off donations to 147 GOP House & Senate members for their part in failed coup attempt
Needless to say, it's been difficult to focus too much on healthcare issues the past few days.
In addition, it's not like the deadly invasion, occupation & attempted coup attempt of the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob incited by the President of the United States himself has a whole lot of healthcare policy side stories, unless you're talking about the entire incident also being a COVID-19 superspreader event, what sort of healthcare coverage the dozens of injured police officers have or whether eye injuries due to being maced are covered by healthcare policies.
However, this breaking announcement seems to fit the bill. via Rachana Pradhan of Kaiser Health News, on Twitter:
Whoa: the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, whose companies provide health insurance to 100+ million Americans across the country, is suspending political contributions to members of Congress who objected to the Electoral College count. Statement below:
"At the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, we continuously evaluate our political contributions to ensure that those we support share our values and goals. In light of this week's violent, shocking assault on the United States Capitol, and the votes of some members of Congress to subvert the results of November's election by challenging Electoral College results, BCBSA will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy. Those contributions are made through our PAC, which is supported solely by employee contributions.
While a contrast of ideas, ideological differences and partisanship are all part of our politics, weakening our political system and eroding public confidence in it must never be. We will continue to support lawmakers and candidates in both political parties who will work with us to build a stronger, healthier nation."
— Rachana D. Pradhan (@rachanadixit) January 10, 2021
This is a pretty big deal for several reasons.
The money itself is substantial but not overwhelming; according to Open Secrets, BCBSA itself donated around $8.2 million in the 2020 cycle, and according to Pradhan, it split around 2:1 GOP/Dem, so at most we're talking about perhaps $5.5 million. Not all of that went to the 138 GOP House members or the 7 GOP Senators who attempted to block certification of the Presidential Electoral Votes, so we're talking about a few million dollars at most.
Even so, that's not chump change, and symbolically, it's a big deal and pretty interesting since it's the GOP which is trying to have the ACA struck down to privatize everything...while it's the Democratic Party which has a significant chunk of support for eliminating private health insurance altogether.
Anyway, we'll see if this turns into a corporate donation trend...