Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Anthem Insurance Likes Republicans

Pulling out of Obamacare, giving almost $175,000 to GOP politicians.

By - Jun 23rd, 2017 10:28 am
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Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, which just announced it will stop selling health insurance in nearly all Wisconsin marketplaces created by the federal Affordable Care Act, is a big supporter of the Wisconsin GOP.

Anthem executives and employees have been generous campaign contributors to Wisconsin legislative and statewide candidates, doling out a total of $184,805 between January 2010 and December 2016. The vast majority of Anthem individual and political action committee contributions went to Republicans, about $174,815, or 95 percent. The top recipients of Anthem contributions were:

Scott Walker, $92,780

Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, $25,000

Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, $10,500

Former Democratic Sen. Tim Cullen, of Janesville, $4,000

GOP Sen. Leah Vukmir, of Brookfield, $3,300

Cullen served in the Senate after retiring from Blue Cross and Blue Shield as a vice-president.

The top contributors among Anthem employees to Wisconsin candidates between January 2010 and December 2016 were:

Lawrence Schreiber, of Muskego, president and general manager, and his wife, Wendy, $15,350;

Anthony Otters, of Nashotah, a physician, $4,430;

Steve Martenet, of Waukesha, president of specialty products, $3,925.

15 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: Anthem Insurance Likes Republicans”

  1. Jason Troll says:

    This is kind of confusing in 2009 the Democrats promised the big insurance companies, huge profits to peddle Obamacare, and if the insurance companies could not make money, the Democrats used risk corridors to cover the loses companies received through the federal Treasury. Now, Democrats are upset that insurance companies are looking to get back to a free market base health system. I guess it makes sense if your not in bed with the Democrats you are the enemy.

  2. Thomas Spellman says:

    What silliness “free market” There are only “free markets” when there is competition and for health care the ONLY competition is for the wealthy. For the rest of us, if there is one provider we are lucky and now that, the not for profit, Blue Cross is gone there are no reasonable providers. While before the Affordable Care Act thousands of folks died yearly because they had no insurance and yet in spite of this MORAL bankruptcy WE did nothing. The Affordable Care Act changed all that, now we are aware and with a degree of luck the stories of the uninsured and their deaths will not go unnoticed as the did in the past. How is it possible for any of us to in essence say tooooo bad – to poor, no job, preexisting condition, etc no insurance – tooooooo bad as someone would say. Where is your MORAL being? Is this where we find that Conservatives are not MORAL?? Peace

  3. Mary Kay Wagner says:

    The piece that you are missing is that the Republicans refused to fund the risk corridors. There is a cost for shifting from one system to another. For instance, implementing electronic medical records we know reduces medical errors. However, it costs money to implement an electronic medical record system. The same is true for insurance companies. It cost money to shift to a different way of managing risk. The ACA included funds to support insurance companies as they made that transition. Unfortunately, in 2015 the Republican Congress refused to fund that support for 2016 and beyond. That is what has caused the problems with the exchange.

  4. Jason Troll says:

    Mary Kay, you are right. Republicans refused to fund the risk corridors. Why is it with you Democrats that you come up with these Rube Goldberg like schemes and not fund it properly. There was no proper taxation to fund it. Will cut out a brake for private unions and their Cadillac plans, and we can not let the millennials feel the brunt of health care taxation or they may vote Republican. We cannot ask elderly to pay more than $130 a month in medicare premiums when their real costs our more than $1000 a month. Let us just kick the bucket. California and Vermont had big dreams of universal state run healthcare but like with everything, the Democrats dream big but in reality you can only make the hard working tax payers pay so much. What of the wealthy? They pay no income taxes and yet your party finds no other ways to confiscate their wealth. Why do you protect the wealthy and make the working class carry the burden.

  5. The idea that Anthem would withdraw from a potentially profitable market because of the political persuasions of its executives is absurd. In fact, given that both the state and the federal government are led by a party committed to rendering the ACA unworkable, it’s only natural that for-profit institutions would decline involvement in what is surely going to be a money-losing proposition.

  6. Thomas Spellman says:

    They will leave the potentially profitable market for a very profitable market might be one reason. What will it take for you and those who believe that the GREAT corporations of the world are going to take care of you any better than the government? At least there is some control on the Government vs no control on Corporations except for the few protections that the Republicans are doing all they can to eliminate. You as an individual are worthless to the GREAT corporation. They take care of their own and unless you are in the top few percent you are not one of them sorry to break the truth to you. Peace

  7. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    What Rex said. In fact, Anthem/Blue Cross openly said that GOP-caused uncertainty and “changes” were why they were pulling out of Wis exchanges (for now)

  8. Some commentators on this thread believe it is absurd that a health insurance company would pull out of a potentially successful system. They are duped. Anthem is GOP friendly and playing politics. It’s like Aetna in California that used Obamacare as an excuse for its behavior and brought to heel by a federal court:
    http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/24/investing/aetna-obamacare-humana-merger/index.html

  9. Tom D says:

    Jason (post 4), Risk Corridors may indeed be something out of Rube Goldberg, but they are a REPUBLICAN idea—first used by George W. Bush as part of Medicare Part D.

    But unlike the Republicans’ Medicare risk corridors (which are PERMANENT), the Democrats’ ACA risk corridors are TEMPORARY—they disappeared after 2016.

    And while you are correct that risk corridors aren’t funded by a dedicated tax, that’s also true of 99% of all government spending. (There is no “Iraq War” tax, for example.)

    So what happened? In the GOP slipped a provision into the 2015 budget that banned virtually all spending for risk corridors (by requiring risk corridors be “revenue neutral”.)

    So when the first (2014) risk corridor payments were ready to go out (in 2015), Obama was required by law to stiff the insurance companies. This caused some non-profit insurers to fold and caused the remaining (for-profit) insurers to dramatically raise rates for the next year (2016) and/or to exit the market entirely.

    You can read more here:

    http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/risk-corridors-aca-vs-part-d-in-charts/

  10. Thomas Spellman says:

    The vileness. When the ACA was passed there were many Republican amendments and many were approved and yet the Dem’s did not hold the Rep’s feet to the fire ie your amendment was accepted you vote for the Bill. Hindsight. That the Rep’s would not support a bill that they had in all likelihood made less workable, less fair and the Dem’s accepted that.

  11. Jason troll says:

    I see the Assurant building at 501 w Michigan is still empty. They were in the business of providing market base healthcare unfortunately, they were no longer viable under Obamacare. Hundreds of good jobs lost.

  12. Jason troll says:

    Obamacare would have never passed if Representatives and their staffs were required to be on it.

  13. Thomas Spellman says:

    Considering the margins not so sure that the coverage issue would have been a deal breaker. The Assurant building is the old Blue Cross Blue Shield building. You may remember the NOT FOR PROFIT that provide quality insurance to Wisconsin citizens until a majority of the NOT FOR PROFIT board voted to sell the the NOT FOR PROFIT to a new for profit corporation Assurant. Yes who spoke up against such a deal. All the PUBLIC effort that had gone into the NOT FOR PROFIT gone.

  14. Tom D says:

    Jason (post 12),

    When Obamacare took effect, members of Congress (and their staffs) lost their coverage in the regular FEHBP (Federal Employee Health Benefits Program). Instead, they were (and still are) required to find health coverage on their own; most use Obamacare (mostly on DC’s Exchange, others from their home state’s Exchange), some have coverage through a spouse, a few conservatives buy private-market coverage to make a political point, and older ones are on Medicare.

    When Obamacare started, the Washington Post compiled a list (now out-of-date) showing how each Senator and Representative got health coverage:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/politics/which-senators-and-representatives-have-signed-up-for-obamacare/646/?tid=a_inl

    You can read more here:

    http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/04/12/523335954/what-happens-to-a-congressmans-health-insurance-if-obamacare-goes-down

  15. Tom D says:

    Yesterday’s NY Times had a GREAT piece by an insurance industry veteran describing how health insurance improved under Obamacare.

    This is a MUST READ for anybody interested in this topic.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/23/opinion/obamacare-cancer-pre-existing-conditions.html?hpw&rref=opinion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

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