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Stipulations on Wellness Programs Stalled in California State Legislature

Stipulations on Wellness Programs Stalled in California State Legislature

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On May 2, 2013, California lawmakers considered a bill, introduced by Senator Bill Monning, to keep employers from charging more for health care if employees don’t meet certain workplace wellness program health goals. Capitol Public Radio reported that Monning believes wellness programs are likely to grow under the Affordable Care Act and consumer protections are needed to guard against cost-shifting to people who have trouble participating in such programs. On May 23, the bill failed to pass out of California’s Senate Standing Committee on Appropriations.

According the Greenlining Institute, Monning said SB 189 was supported by AARP, American Cancer Society Action Network, American Heart Association, California Black Health Network, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Consumers Union, Health Access, Greenlining Institute and Prevention Institute. The bill faced opposition from insurance brokers and from grocers. Institute records indicate that supporters of the bill did not contribute to individual members on the Senate Standing Committee on Appropriations. All contributions to the Senate Appropriations Committee may be viewed here.

Opponents, however, show a different pattern. According to the Institute, the insurance industry contributed $321,619 to six of the seven members of Senate Appropriations. The food processing and sales industry, of which grocers are a part, contributed $65,136. The top contributor from the insurance industry was Cooperative of American Physicians with $31,800, followed by the Personal Insurance Federation of California with $28,028. Safeway was the top contributor from the food processing and sales industry, contributing $27,300. As a whole, the members on the committee raised a total of $4.6 million from all sources.

Below is a breakdown of contributions to individual members of the Standing Committee on Appropriates by industry. For more information on money in state politics check out FollowTheMoney.org.

Insurance and Food Processing & Sales Contributions to Members of the California Senate Standing Committee on Appropriations

Committee Member

Contributions from Insurance Industry

Contributions from Food Processing & Sales Industry

Industries’ Total

de Leon, Kevin**

$65,719

$11,900

$77,619

Walters, Mimi

$45,700*

$18,200

$63,900

Gaines, Ted

$47,750*

$3,500

$51,250

Hill, Jerry

$60,400

$10,636

$71,036

Lara, Ricardo

$59,100

$3,000

$62,100

Padilla, Alex**

NA

NA

NA

Steinberg, Darrell**

$13,900

$18,900

$32,800

Total

$292,569

$66,136

$358,705

*Insurance was the top industry contributing to the candidate’s campaign.

**de Leon, Padilla, and Steinberg were not up for election in 2012.

Image by E.C. Campbell via Flickr

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