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PunditFact: Lion's share of health insurance company PAC donations go to Republicans

Dana Perino, co-host of Fox News Channel’s The Five, wrongly stated that the insurance industry “is actually run by Democrats.”

Getty Images (2008)

Dana Perino, co-host of Fox News Channel’s The Five, wrongly stated that the insurance industry “is actually run by Democrats.”

The statement

"The insurance industry is actually run by mostly Democrats."

Dana Perino, co-host on Fox News Channel's The Five

The ruling

We started by looking at the two largest health insurance associations.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tallies political contributions, America's Health Insurance Plans political action committee has contributed about $396,000 to Democrats since 2008 compared with $436,000 to Republicans over the same period of time.

The CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, Karen Ignagni, has donated to both Republicans and Democrats over the years. Ignagni has led health industry groups since 1993 and worked for the AFL-CIO before that.

The National Association of Health Underwriters PAC, meanwhile, has contributed $1.74 million to Republicans since 2008 and $494,000 to Democrats. (We found no political contributions from CEO Janet Trautwein.)

Overall, the Center for Responsive Politics says that the insurance industry has contributed $94 million to Republicans since 2008 and $62 million to Democrats. (This particular comparison is only modestly helpful, however, as it includes companies that also provide property, life and car insurance.)

Another way to consider Perino's claim is to look at the men and women running the largest health insurance companies:

UnitedHealthcare (70 million served): The company's PAC, United For Health, reported that 58 percent of its 2012 federal contributions went to Republicans, while 42 percent went to Democrats. Since 2008, the group has given slightly more to Democrats — $721,000 to Democrats and $704,000 to Republicans. CEO Stephen Hemsley has donated almost solely to Republicans since 2010.

Aetna (50 million served): Aetna's political action committee reported that it donated $285,500 to Republican candidates in 2012, compared with $170,000 to Democrats. It contributed more money to Republican candidates in 2010 and 2008 as well. CEO Mark T. Bertolini has donated to both Republicans and Democrats.

WellPoint (36 million served): The company's political action committee, WellPAC, contributed about $1.5 million to Republican candidates since 2008 and about half as much to Democrats. CEO Joseph R. Swedish has made only one contribution to a federal candidate since 2010, $500 to Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Humana (20 million served): Humana's political action committee has contributed more to Republicans in every political cycle since 2000. Humana CEO Bruce D. Broussard mainly has contributed only to the PAC.

The Center for Public Integrity reported that from January 2007 through August 2012, "the political action committees of the 11 largest health insurance companies and their primary trade group gave $10.2 million to federal politicians, with nearly two-thirds of the total going to Republicans who oppose the law or support its repeal."

We rate Perino's claim False.

Edited for print. Read the full version at

PunditFact: Lion's share of health insurance company PAC donations go to Republicans 11/08/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 8, 2013 3:28pm]
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