Congressmen who opposed a new Medicare payment model aimed at lowering drug prices received 82% more in healthcare company contributions.
In the 2015 to 2016 election cycle, members of the US House of Representatives reported a total of approximately $9.5 million in contributions from pharmaceutical and health product companies. The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently proposed a new payment model for Medicare Part B.
Ideally, this model would remove any incentives physicians have to prescribe costly medications. Representatives who signed either of 2 letters opposing or critical of the payment model received approximately $7.2 million from these companies for their 2016 campaigns, according to a report published by Public Citizen.
They found that signers of the letter received 82% more from these companies than non-signers.
The top 10 US Representatives, all members of the Republican party, who opposed or were critical of the payment model, and who received the highest contributions from the healthcare industry in 2016 were as follows:
1. John M Shimkus (R-IL)
Republican Congressman Shimkus received the most contributions from the companies, totaling $220,490 in 2016.
2. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Congressman Brady, also a Republican, received $202,751.
3. Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
Republican Congressman Paulsen received a total of $183,650 for his campaign.
4. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Republican Congressman Upton received a contribution of $164,350 for his 2016 campaign.
5. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)
Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, also a Republican, received $141,949 in contributions from healthcare companies.
6. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
Republican Congressman Guthrie given $137,449 by these companies for his campaign.
7. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
Congressman Lance, a Republican representing New Jersey, received $134,100.
8. Patrick J Tiberi (R-OH)
Ohio’s Republican Congressman Patrick J Tiberi received $121,400 in contributions.
9. Greg Walden (R-OR)
Republican Congressman Greg Walden received $120,250 from these companies.
10. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Republican Congresswoman representing Tennessee received $113,585 for her 2016 campaign.