the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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$86.2 Million

Summary: 
Big insurance companies spent millions trying to fight heath reforms that end lifetime limits and protect against denying coverage to those who get ill or have preexisting conditions, but millions of Americans are already benefiting from the new law.

Today, Bloomberg News reported that big insurance companies – companies like UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Cigna Corp – spent $86.2 million to fight health insurance reform in 2009.  Insurance companies and their allies were desperate to preserve their ability to discriminate against you if you had a preexisting condition, drop your care when you got sick and limit the amount of care you could receive in a year or a lifetime.

Thankfully, they didn’t succeed, but some folks still want to take us back to the bad old days when insurance companies had all the power and doctors and patients took a back seat. In fact, the New York Times recently reported that since the law was passed, opponents of reform spent $108 million on negative television advertisements about the law. And these powerful interests may spend millions more opposing reform in the future.

Millions of Americans are already benefitting from the law.  Americans like Dawn Josephson of Florida, whose child finally received comprehensive health insurance coverage, even though he had a pre-existing condition and Jennifer Restemayer of North Dakota, whose daughter Allison was diagnosed with a rare disease. Jennifer feared hear daughter would hit her lifetime benefit cap until reform made those benefit caps illegal. You can read their stories and many more by visiting our 50 States/50 Stories map on WhiteHouse.gov/HealthReform.

Some may be willing to spend millions to take us backwards, but we will continue to move forward by fighting for Americans like Dawn and Jennifer and delivering the benefits of reform to the American people.

Stephanie Cutter is Assistant to the President for Special Projects