Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Freshman Democratic Congressman and Medicare for All


The website Tarbell has published an analysis of the 62 freshman House Democrats looking at their support for Medicare for All and how much in campaign donations from the health care industry that they received.  The author, Danielle Keeton-Olsen, states that those members who publicly declared their support for Medicare for All or Single Payer received an average of $5,796 while those who opposed received $10,880.  She also states that "It’s hard to pull distinct conclusions because there are only a small number of candidates and a whole slew of factors that could influence a donor’s decision to give."  I beg to differ at least when it comes to support for Medicare for All.  I will look at the numbers by the race/ethnic background of the House freshman.

Support
Medicare for all
African 
American
Asian
Hispanic/
Latino
Native
American
White
No
4
2
1
0
23
Undecided
0
0
2
0
8
Yes
5
0
5
2
10
Total
9
2
8
2
41

Looking at the racial/ethnic backgrounds of these Representatives who support medicare for all I found the above Table showing that 23 white representatives or 56% of them  and 100% of Asian freshman oppose Medicare for All.  By Comparison, 55% of African American, 63% of Hispanic, and 100% of Native American reps support it.  These differences are statistically significant by Fisher's exact test (p=0.04064).

Support SP
Nonwhite
White
#
%
#
%
No
7
37%
23
56%
Undecided
2
11%
8
20%
Yes
12
63%
10
24%
Total
21
100%
41
100%

To look at the campaign contribution numbers for a statistical analysis of variance, I combined their numbers as white versus nonwhite.  Granted the numbers are unbalanced but I believe that something can be learned from these numbers.  The table above shows the numbers and percentages for each grouping.  Below is a bar chart showing the average contribution amount across four categories of donors: health Professionals, HMOs and health services, hospitals and nursing homes, and pharmaceutical and health products.


The above chart shows a sharp difference in the amount of money received by freshman representatives from the healthcare industry.  Nonwhite reps who support medicare for all received significantly less than white representatives who do.  The most famous of these is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who received a total of $16,375.  Undecided nonwhite representatives received slightly more money than whites in this category and the numbers were vitrually equal for freshman reps who do not support it.  The overall difference between white and nonwhite contributions was statistically significant (p=0.02) and the interaction between race and support for medicare for all was borderline significant (p=.07).

I wasn't really able to replicate her numbers from the data in the article.  I will be asking her about it.  In subsequent posts I will be looking at the different categories of donors to see what might be driving these discrepancies.

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