Who gets nursing home association campaign contributions? 

Today's Examiner editorial focuses on the American Nursing Home Association's (ANHA) efforts to gain waivers for its members from Obamacare and other special considerations that illustrate how Big Government regulation encourages businesses to shift from focusing on satisfying customers to satisfying politicians and bureaucrats.

Meanwhile, the good folks at MAPLight who track the influence of campaign money in politics and policy took a look at the ANHA's campaign contributions and found something quite interesting: In recent years, this special interest group has moved from giving the majority of its donations to congressional Republicans to giving most of it to the congressional Democrats who imposed Obamacare on them and the rest of America.

In 2002, for example, MAPLight found, based on data supplied by OpenSecrets.org, that 58 percent of the $1.4 million in ANHA contributions went to congressional GOPers. In the following two elections, the GOP percentage was 57 percent and 59 percent.

But after Democrats were swept into the congressional majority in the 2008 election, the ANHA swung almost immediately around to giving most of its campaign contributions to the new power in Congress. The group's total congressional contributions increased to $3.4 million, with 59 percent going to the Democrats in 2008, and 56 percent of $3.5 million going to Democrats in 2010.

These numbers provide an excellent illustration of the Examiner editorial's point that 

"What is best for patients becomes an afterthought when bureaucratic formulas determine what care is provided and how, instead of private firms competing with each other to offer needed services at affordable prices while making enough profit to stay in business."

Or, to put it another way, while our elite media, academics and political experts constantly tell us that capitalism is selfish and liberalism is compassionate, the reality is that when businesses and individuals can't use political influence for government subsidies or regulations to direct revenues to them, they have to generate income by serving consumers instead.

So who is selfish, the politicians and bureaucrats demanding the power to regulate, or capitalists who just want to be left alone so they can satisfying consumer needs?

You can read more from MAPLight here.

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Mark Tapscott

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