The only state Senate Democrat to vote against last week’s single-payer health care bill, Lou Correa of Santa Ana, was also among the largest recipients of campaign contributions from health insurance companies between 2006 and 2008, according to a report released today by MAPLight.org.
State Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana
The report found that senators who voted against single-payer health care – all but one of them Republicans – received an average of $43,633 from health insurers and HMOs during the 2006-2008 election cycle. That’s nearly twice what the Democratic senators who supported the bill received, according to the analysis.
Correa received even more: $56,000. Along with several other top recipients, he sits on the Senate's Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee.
The bill, SB 810, would lay the groundwork for replacing private insurance in California with a state-run system, which would be provided to all state residents. Its author, Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, has said the measure is designed to make up for the lack of a public option in the national health care legislation working its way through the U.S. Congress.
The most recent analysis of the state bill shows that health insurers, as well business groups, have lined up to oppose the measure. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed similar legislation in the past and has promised to veto this bill if it reaches his desk.
Last week, Correa said he voted against the bill because his focus is “jobs, jobs, jobs, and not some bill without details."
"I do believe we need health care reform in this state, but this is not it,” he told Cal Watchdog, a non-profit reporting organization tied to the conservative-leaning Pacific Research Institute.
We put in a call to Correa's chief of staff, John Scribner, but haven't heard back. We'll let you know if we do.
MAPLight, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that analyzes campaign money and its relationship to votes, based its analysis on data from the National Institute for Money in State Politics, which classifies campaign donors by industry. A full breakdown of insurance contributions to state senators follows: