Hospital Group Leads Mo. Campaign Contributions
JEFFERSON CITY - Over the past two years, the Missouri Hospital Association was the largest organizational campaign contributor to current state lawmakers.
According to the latest numbers from the National Institute on Money in State Politics, the Missouri Hospital Association donated $340,760 in the two years of 2011 and 2012. The organization dispensed that money to more than 92% of lawmakers.
The Missouri Hospital Association is made up of 152 member hospitals and is the representative for all hospitals in the state, both non-profit and private.
Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, is one of the recipients. He received $11,500 last year from the group, even though he was not up for election. He says that while he appreciates the support, lawmakers' votes are not up for sale.
"Votes are not for sale, that's illegal. No one can do that. You can't trade your vote for money and we're very careful about that," Brown said.
The main issue on the agenda of the Missouri Hospital Association is passing state medicaid reform, which the group claims will save Missouri hospitals billions of dollars a year on care for uninsured patients.
Some detractors of the medicaid plan say medicaid reform as it stands now still has too many unknowns, and others question the hospitals, some of which make large profits.