Federal Politics

Published — October 1, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Daily Disclosure: Hospital PAC backs GOP House candidates

©iStockphoto.com/craftvision

AHA spends nearly $1 million on ads

Introduction

The political action committee of the American Hospital Association reported spending $968,000 on ads supporting Republican incumbent representatives in Louisiana, Washington, New York and Pennsylvania, all of whom sit on committees that oversee health care issues.

The ads support Reps. Charles Boustany Jr. in Louisiana’s 3rd District, Richard Hanna in New York’s 22nd District, Tom Reed in New York’s 23rd District, Cathy McMorris Rodgers in Washington’s 5th District and Jim Gerlach in Pennsylvania’s 6th District.

The American Hospital Association is a trade group representing hospitals and health care networks. It opposes any and all cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, supports lower costs for graduate medical education, wants to simplify regulatory requirements and favors lowering malpractice premiums for doctors.

The spending comes from the association’s regulated political action committee, which, unlike super PACs, can accept a maximum of $5,000 in contributions, but can make direct donations to candidates.

This is the PAC’s first reported independent expenditure in the election. However, it has contributed more than$761,000 to U.S. House and Senate candidates directly, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Its independent spending backs Republicans but its direct candidate contributions slightly favor Democrats.

All six candidates supported by the PAC’s outside spending have voted to repeal President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

While the AHA says both Obama’s health care plan and Rep. Paul Ryan’s alternative voucher plan include unacceptable cuts to Medicare, it sees the Affordable Care Act as the more immediate threat, according to a white paper published this year.

The American Hospital Association and several other health associations are also under pressure from the federal government for doctors’ practice of “upcoding” — billing Medicare for more advanced services than the patient may have actually received — a process recently investigated in the Center for Public Integrity’s project, “Cracking the Code.”

As a result, hospitals and doctors may be facing stepped up audits of their billing practices.

McCarthy Hennings Media, responsible for the infamous “Willie Horton” ad in 1988, produced the AHA’s ads. Mentzer Media Services, part of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004, made the ad buys. The consulting team also provides its services to pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future.

In other outside spending news:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released $3.8 million in ads over the weekend. Most targeted U.S. House races in California, all favored Republicans:

  • An ad opposing Democrat and former astronaut Jose Hernandez in California’s 10th District cost $600,000;
  • An ad opposing Democratic state Sen. Alan Lowenthal in California’s 47th District cost $320,000;
  • An ad opposing Democrat and high school teacher Mark Takano in California’s 41st District cost $220,000;
  • An ad opposing Democrat and physician Ami Bera in California’s 7th District cost $490,000;
  • An ad opposing Democratic state Assemblywoman Julia Brownley in California’s 26th District cost $400,000;
  • An ad opposing Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney in California’s 9th District cost $490,000;
  • An ad supporting Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray in California’s 52nd District cost $320,000.
  • The Chamber released a similar spot opposing Brad Schneider, the Democrat running for U.S. House in Illinois’ 10th District, for $550,000, and a spot opposing David Gill, the Democrat running in Illinois’ 13th District, for $500,000.
  • Restore Our Future reported spending $2.1 million on anti-Obama ads.
  • The Freedom and Liberty PAC, which supports former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, reported spending $250,000 on advertising, surveys and website work. The Center reported in August that outside spending in favor of third party candidates could hurt Romney.
  • AFSCME PEOPLE, the political action committee of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, reported spending $784,000 on ads opposing Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, $259,000 opposing former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, the Republican running for U.S. Senate in Connecticut, and $1 million on anti-Romney ads in Ohio and Virginia.
  • The National Association of Realtors Congressional Fund, a super PAC, reported spending $862,000 supporting Reps. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., Gary Miller, D-Calif., and Tom Latham, R-Iowa. All three are on committees that oversee housing issues.
  • Conservative nonprofit American Future Fund released “Fought,” supporting former Republican state Sen. Jonathan Paton in Arizona’s 1st District, and “Walk,” which criticizes his opponent, former Democratic U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. The buy cost $1.5 million.
  • Seventies,” from the conservative nonprofit American Action Network, opposes former Rep. Rick Nolan, a Democrat, who is running in Minnesota’s 8th District. Congressional Leadership Fund, its affiliated super PAC, reported spending $132,000 opposing Texas state Rep. Pete Gallego, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House in the state’s 23rd District.
  • Crossroads GPS reported spending $439,000 on “Focus,” which opposes attorney Julian Schreibman, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House in New York’s 19th District. GPS also spent $214,000 on anti-Obama ads.
  • Independence Virginia PAC reported spending $234,000 opposing former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate. The super PAC is dedicated to helping Kaine’s opponent, former Sen. George Allen, win the seat. Its only listed donor is also the treasurer — Paul Bennecke, the former political director of the Republican Governors Association.
  • House Majority PAC, a super PAC supporting congressional Democrats, spent a total $1.9 million opposing Republicans.
  • Super PAC Planned Parenthood Votes is airing “Ask Mitt” in Colorado ahead of Wednesday’s first presidential debate, which is taking place at the University of Denver. It also released an ad opposing Rep. Denny Rehberg, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Montana. The super PAC reported spending $219,000 supporting Obama as well as Democrats.

Who paid for that political ad? You might be surprised by the answer. Email us and we will try to find out. Describe the advertisement — was it mean or nice? Will it affect your vote? When and where did it run and what were the names of the candidates? And PLEASE tell us what the disclaimer at the end says, and we will check it out.

Read more in Federal Politics

Share this article

Join the conversation

Show Comments

11
Leave a Reply

avatar
9 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Mark Sullivan
Guest
Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
Guest
CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
Guest
George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
Guest
j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
Guest
jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
Guest
thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
Guest
Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
Guest

hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
Guest
SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
Guest
Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
Guest
Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
Guest
South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
Guest
SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
Guest
David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.