CVS Health quietly donated a staggering amount to a dark money group advocating against health care access

CVS Health quietly donated a staggering amount to a dark money group advocating against health care access
Yeungb / Wikimedia Commons

University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill

Last year, as the United States was ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, CVS Health donated a staggering amount of money to a dark money group that advocated for limiting health care access.

According to The Intercept, CVS Health which also owns the health insurance company Aetna along with countless pharmacies and walk-in clinics nationwide, donated a total of $5 million to Partnership for America's Health Care Future (PAHCF), an advocacy group in opposition of Medicare for All.

The massive donation is considered the largest financial contribution on record although PAHCF is classified as a 501(c)(4) organization and not required to publicly disclose information about its donors. Reports about CVS Health's donation come months after PAHCF embarked on a political sweep of voters in Democratic primary states as they urged voters to push back against the promotion of Medicare for All.

The group also targeted the states that are embracing the public health option. The publication notes that "the group hired local lobbyists and aired advertisements designed to discourage state legislators from voting for the plan." Leading up to the presidential election back in November, the group began circulating anti-Medicare for All ads again.

While CVS Health has remained mum about the donation, CVS Health chief executive officer Karen S. Lynch penned a letter to Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) that also appeared to coincide with PAHCF's stance on the public option.

Despite CVS Health and PAHCF's push back, watchdogs like the Center for Health and Democracy argue that the group "is merely a lobbying front to preserve the profits and market share of private health providers and insurers."

Wendell Potter, who serves as president of the Center for Health and Democracy, weighed in on how profitability has ultimately jeopardized the most important aspect of health care: caring for those in need. "The story of healthcare in America is about profit-driven corporations versus Americans who need care," said Potter.

He added, "Make no mistake: As long as their billions in profits are threatened, the front group for the health insurance industry will spend whatever it takes to keep the status quo exactly the way it is."

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