Healthcare PACs Tilt Toward GOP

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , March 1, 2012

But in this election cycle, the ASAPAC, like many other physician and healthcare groups especially, are favoring the GOP, with only the American Physical Therapy Association among the top five spending PACs leaning toward Democrats so far, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Based on the February filings with the FEC, the top spending PACS are: 

CLABSI scores

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top-spending PACs

Although not in the top ten among those cited by the Center for Responsive Politics, the American Medical Association is listed as a perpetual heavy hitter in contributions to congressional campaigns. According to the latest filings, the AMA PAC has contributed $125,200, with $75,700 to the GOP, and $49,500 to Democrats. It contributed $1.1 million in 2010, with 57% to Democrats, and 43% to Republicans.

When asked about the contributions, an AMA spokeswoman said, "AMAPAC does not weigh in on who people should support in presidential races."

Representatives of physician PACs say they can get more accomplished in congressional and senate campaigns than in the presidential races, with more contributions already being generated, though not filed yet with the FEC.

The American Academy of Orthopedics Surgeons PAC, for instance, says it now has $1.7 million in contributions, an amount that will not be filed with the Federal Election Commission until this summer. Every four years, the members vote on whether they should contribute to the presidential campaign, says Stuart Weinstein, MD, the PAC for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Essentially, the AAOS believes it can be more effective both in terms of resources and achieving policy goals by contributing to individual congressional races. 

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