ThinkProgress filed this report from Greenfield, Wisconsin.
As Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) criss-crossed his district selling the GOP’s plan to force future retirees to purchase health care coverage from private insurers, one constituent asked why he hadn’t disclosed that health insurers were the top contributors to his re-election campaign. “As a public servant, Congressman, isn’t it appropriate for you to point out during this presentation that three of the top contributors to your campaign are health insurance companies?” a woman asked at a contentious town hall in Greenfield, Wisconsin. Ryan dodged the question, saying that he had over 44,000 contributors to his campaign:
RYAN: I got over 44,000 contributors to my campaign. Over 90 percent of them are Wisconsinites. I don’t pay attention…[inaudible]. You want to find out? Just go to my campaign website. We put it all on the internet, see for yourself.
Ryan’s campaign website doesn’t have any information on his contributors, but according to the Center for Responsive Politics, “political action committees in the health sector donated more than $269,050 to Ryan, ranking him 10th out of 383 Republican candidates receiving donations from the sector.” In fact, Ryan’s top 15 donors during the 2010 election cycle “included PACs and individual employees of Abbott Laboratories, Humana Inc., Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Aetna Inc.”
Health industry analysts predict that Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare could “be a tremendous business opportunity for the industry.” Ana Gupte, an analyst with Bernstein Research, told the New York Times that the private Medicare business “could be a $1.2 trillion business by 2031.”