To push health care legislation, President Obama is attacking the insurance industry: "We can’t have a system that works better for the insurance companies than it does for the American people. . "Part of the motivating factor here is letting members of Congress know there's a price to pay for failure," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told The Washington Post. "And for the public, it's important to remind them that there are premium increases of 40 percent for as far as you can see if nothing is done."
This line of attack is at odds with Democratic fundraising. So far in the 2010 cycle, says the Center for Responsive Politics, the insurance industry has given 53 percent of its federal contributions to Democratic candidates. (That figure represents an 8 percent increase from 2008.) Top recipients of insurance money include:
- Senator Christopher Dodd $258,400
- Senator Charles Schumer $195,100
- Representative Barney Frank $147,499
- Representative Charles Rangel $118,800
- Senator Harry Reid $114,000