Health Insurance Firms Halt Donations To Some Lawmakers After Riot
Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and UnitedHealth Group have paused all or some political contributions. Others considering action are Centene Corp., CVS Health (which owns Aetna), America's Health Insurance Plans and others.
Cigna To Stop Contributions To Some Lawmakers Following Capitol Riots
Cigna is the latest insurer to stop contributions to some federal lawmakers following the riot at the Capitol last week. Cigna said in an email that its political action committee will "discontinue support of any elected official who encouraged or supported violence, or otherwise hindered a peaceful transition of power." Cigna's announcement is on the heels of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which vowed to stop political contributions to lawmakers who voted to object electoral college results from the presidential election following a riot at the Capitol. Other insurers and healthcare organizations are either reviewing their policies for political contributions or pausing them entirely. (Castellucci, 1/12)
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Suspends Donations To Lawmakers Who Opposed Electoral College Count
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) will suspend its donations to lawmakers who opposed the Electoral College count after rioters stormed the Capitol building. BCBSA President and CEO Kim Keck announced on Friday that the federation of 36 health insurance companies would no longer provide financial contributions to these congressional members through its political action committee that is “supported solely by employee contributions.” (1/10/13)
In other fallout from last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol —
3rd Member Of Congress Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Blames Capitol Attack Lockdown
On Tuesday, Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., announced he has tested positive for the coronavirus after sheltering in place with other lawmakers who refused to wear masks. "I am at least the third Member from that room paying the price," Schneider said, noting positive coronavirus tests from Jayapal and Rep. Bonnie Coleman, D-N.J. Schneider shared a video of the scene, saying, "Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask, as demonstrated in video from Punchbowl News, even when politely asked by their colleagues." (Chappell, 1/12)
GOP Georgia House Rep Accuses Pelosi Of Exposing Congress Members To COVID By Calling Them Back For Votes
"Healthy people do not spread COVID. COVID positive people spread COVID. Everyone was exposed ALL week by the COVID positive members who Nancy Pelosi brought into the Capitol and into Washington DC," recently-elected House member Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said in a statement via email. (King, 1/12)
The Washington Post:
The Lockdown Room Was A Safe Space For Lawmakers Under Siege. Now Some Say Maskless Republicans Made It A Coronavirus Hot Spot.
One Democrat, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), grew so angry that she left the secure room, concluding, according to an aide, that “we’re not going to survive a terrorist attack to be exposed to a deadly virus.” ... Several Republican lawmakers seen in a video refusing masks from a Democratic congresswoman did not respond to requests for comment. Freshman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who was also in that group, called it “absurd” to blame them and shifted it to [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi. “It is absolutely ridiculous and insane to blame those of us who did not have COVID or symptoms,” she said in an email. “The blame lies squarely on Nancy Pelosi and the positive COVID members bringing COVID in the Capitol! It’s absurd to say they caught it during the safe room.” (Itkowitz, 1/12)
The Capitol Outbreak Shows One Vaccine Dose May Not Fully Shield Against The Coronavirus
Can you still get Covid-19 after getting a vaccine? And can you still spread the virus that causes it to other people? As more Americans begin the process of vaccination, how much protection each dose provides in the real world is being put to the test. At least three Democratic members of the House of Representatives recently found out the hard way. They were sheltering for hours with Republican colleagues who refused to wear masks during the Capitol riots on January 6 and later tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Their experience suggests that one dose of a vaccine and masks may not be enough to protect someone in the face of hours of reckless behavior. (Irfan, 1/12)