Organization Trends

Patient Power Is Dead: Promoters of the Status Quo


Patient Power Is Dead: A Tour of the Left’s Advocacy for Government Control of Health Care Dollars (full series)
Obamacare and Alternatives | Medicare for All
Big Labor and Medicare for All
Labor Unions and the ACA | Promoters of the Status Quo
The Arabella Network | Arabella’s Secretive 2018 Election Projects

 

Promoters of the Status Quo

As noted earlier, the Affordable Care Act wasn’t much of a reform for our broken third-party payment health care system, so much as a status quo effort to stuff millions more people into it. This was accomplished in large measure by expanding the number of people receiving Medicaid.

Those that defend the ACA and Medicaid expansion are protecting and expanding on the already massive government and private health insurance bureaucracies controlling a large majority of health care dollars.

The following are groups that have promoted the ACA status quo:

  • American Association for Retired Persons (AARP). AARP is a pollical advocacy nonprofit that claims to represent the best interests its senior citizen membership. AARP worked in a close alliance with the Obama administration to pass the ACA. A 2012 Wall Street Journal report revealed emails from AARP officials to the White House in 2009 stating that daily calls from AARP members were running 10-1 against the president’s health care plan. Despite this, according to the Wall Street Journal, AARP ran a broadcast media campaign supporting the ACA. AARP reported raising more than $1.7 billion in 2019.
  • American Hospital Association (AHA). The American Hospital Association was an early stakeholder in the development of what became the ACA and has supported it ever since. A 2019 statement from the AHA president was titled “The ACA is working—let’s make it work even better,” and stated that “America’s hospitals and health systems support building on the ACA and strengthening the existing public-private coverage framework.” The AHA reported revenue of $142.8 million in 2019.
  • American Medical Association (AMA). The AMA was an early stakeholder in the development of what became the ACA and has supported it ever since. The AMA’s president reiterated the group’s support for the ACA at a townhall event in October 2020. The AMA reported total revenues of $433.4 million for 2020.
  • American Psychological Association (APA). APA portrays itself as “leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States” and claims 122,000 members working in the profession. The group is also an advocate for left-leaning ideological causes, such as forgiving student loans and restrictions on firearms ownership. The APA has been a strong supporter of the ACA and an opponent of Republican health care reform proposals. The APA reported $132.8 million in revenue for 2020.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The American Academy of Pediatrics portrays itself as a generally apolitical “organization of 67,000 pediatricians committed to the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.​” In practice, it is a left-leaning advocacy group on many issues. The AAP opposes the sale of firearms that are widely owned by Americans and endorses a radical alarmist position regarding climate change. The American Academy of Pediatrics has been a reliable supporter of the ACA and opponent of Republican attempts to reform it. In 2019 the AAP denounced a federal court decision striking down the ACA language demanding that many Americans purchase health care and credited the ACA with delivering “tremendous improvements to children’s access to health care.” For the year ending June 2020 the AAP reported revenue of $118.3 million.
  • American Bridge 21st Century. American Bridge is a federal super PAC that is a major supporter of Democratic candidates and opponent of Republicans. American Bridge has been a defender of the ACA and during the 2020 election ran an attack ad campaign targeting President Donald Trump for making changes to the law. American Bridge spent $84.6 million during the 2020 election. American Bridge is aligned with the American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, a 501(c)(4) political advocacy nonprofit that reported spending $9.4 million during 2019.
  • Center for American Progress (CAP). The Center for American Progress is a large, left-leaning think tank Washington, DC, that provides policy research supporting a wide range of conventional Democratic-aligned positions. It is aligned with the Center for American Progress Action Fund(CAP Action), a political advocacy group that promotes implementation of CAP recommendations and criticizes politicians (usually Republicans) who oppose these objectives. CAP has been a reliable promoter of the ACA. in March 2020 it produced a favorable retrospective analysis titled “10 Ways the ACA Has Improved Health Care in the Past Decade.” The Center for American Progress spent $49.4 million in 2019. The Center for American Progress raised $16.6 million in 2019.
  • Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund. The Everytown for Gun Safety Victory is a federal super PAC affiliated with the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, a political advocacy nonprofit that opposes many types of legal firearms ownership, and their tax-exempt nonprofit partner, the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. During the 2020 election Everytown for Gun Safety jointly produced attack ads criticizing Republican congressional candidates for seeking changes to the ACA. The Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund spent $32.3 million during the 2020 election. The Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund advocacy nonprofit reported spending $84.8 million in 2019, and the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund tax-exempt group reported spending $34 million that same year.
  • Families USA. The main web page for Families USA promotes it as “The Voice for Healthcare Consumers.” The group has a “Medicaid Expansion Team” and boasts that it has helped bring about Medicaid expansion in several states. The group’s definition of “protecting health care” is preventing virtually all Republican plans to alter the Affordable Care Act. As an example, the Trump administration created a policy in 2018 that increased the number of low cost health insurance options available to consumers, but the self-appointed “voice for healthcare consumers” denounced the policy. Families USA reported raising $9 million in 2019.
  • Independence USA PAC. Independence USA is a federal super PAC affiliated with multi-billionaire and former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg. During the 2020 election, Independence USA supported the presidential candidacy of Joe Biden and opposed Donald Trump. Independence USA publicly supported the ACA and paid for attack ads criticizing Trump for making changes to it. Independence USA spent $68 million during the 2020 election.
  • League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund. The LCV Victory Fund is a federal super PAC affiliated with the left-leaning League of Conservation Voters, one of the nation’s leading climate alarmist groups. During the 2020 election the LCV Victory Fund spent at least $1.5 million attacking Republican Senate candidates because they advocated changes to the ACA. In total, the LCV Victory Fund spent $61.2 million during the 2020 election.
  • League of Women Voters (LWV). Although cultivating the image of an ideologically neutral source of election information and education, the league is in practice a stridently left-leaning political advocacy nonprofit. As examples, it supports the left-wing Green New Deal, opposes nuclear energy, and supports racial and sexually discriminatory hiring practices that use the misleading title “affirmative action.” The LWV has been a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act and an opponent of Republican-led efforts to reform the law. The LWV reported $8 million in revenue for the year ending June 2020.
  • Planned Parenthood. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a tax-exempt nonprofit, is primarily a left-leaning advocate for abortion, but also a promoter of the ACA. A web page for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Planned Parenthood’s political advocacy nonprofit, states that the “Planned Parenthood Action Fund and our supporters are fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act and any other health care law that supports reproductive health.” The tax-exempt Planned Parenthood Federation of America reported spending $341.2 million for the year ending June 2020. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund reported spending $40.7 million during 2019. And the super PAC Planned Parenthood Votes reported expenses of $30.1 million during the 2020 election.
  • Priorities USA Action. Priorities USA is a federal super PAC that is a major supporter of Democratic candidates and opponent of Republicans. Priorities USA has been a defender of the ACA, and during the 2020 election it ran an attack ad campaign targeting President Trump for making changes to the law. Priorities USA spent $138.3 million during the 2020 election. Priorities USA is also aligned with a 501(c)(4) political advocacy nonprofit with the same name that raised $39.9 million during 2019 and a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit (the Priorities USA Foundation) that reported revenue of $8.9 million during 2019.
  • Senate Majority PAC. Senate Majority is a federal super PAC that is a major supporter of Democratic candidates and opponent of Republicans. During the 2018 election Senate Majority PAC ran attack ads criticizing a Republican Senator for filing a lawsuit against the ACA. Senate Majority PAC spent $371.6 million during the 2020 election.
  • Tom Steyer/NextGen Network. Left-wing billionaire Tom Steyer has donated to a network of left-leaning tax-exempt groups, advocacy nonprofits and political action committees that have supported the ACA. NextGen Policy (the tax-exempt nonprofit formerly known as NextGen America) lists a policy staffer on its website whose job description includes leading “NextGen’s efforts to defend the Affordable Care Act.” This tax-exempt group reported spending $4 million in 2019. NextGen Climate Action Committee, the Steyer network’s super PAC, reported spending more than $56.7 million during the 2020 election. NextGen Climate Action, the Steyer network’s political advocacy nonprofit, reported spending $8.7 million in 2019.
  • Urban Institute. The Urban Institute is an educational nonprofit research group that promotes left-leaning public policies. It has frequently produced reports and studies that promote the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion. For 2019 the research nonprofit reported revenue of $126.7 million.
  • Women Vote! Women Vote is a a federal super PAC that is a major supporter of Democratic candidates and opponent of Republicans. Women Vote has been a defender of the ACA and during the 2020 election ran an attack ad campaign targeting Republican Senate candidates for making changes to the law. Women Vote spent $46.9 million during the 2020 election.
  • Young Invincibles. Young Invincibles is a left-leaning advocacy group aimed at young adults. Its primary issue areas include promoting Medicaid expansion and supporting enrollment by young adults in the ACA. Young Invincibles reported total revenue of $6.9 million in 2019.

 

In the next installment, the Arabella Network has created dozens of “pop-ups” to push left-leaning health care policies.

Ken Braun

Ken Braun is CRC’s senior investigative researcher and authors profiles for InfluenceWatch.org and the Capital Research magazine. He previously worked for several free market policy organizations, spent six…
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