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Instant Analysis from MAPLight.org

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The House of Representatives passed the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007 (H.R. 1424) yesterday, a bill that would require group health insurance plans to cover mental health and substance-abuse cases just like other medical issues, a significant change over the current system. And thanks to MAPLight.org, the brilliant money-fand-votes tracker (and Sunlight grantee), we have a much better view of how the various interests attempt to influence legislative outcomes.

MAPLight.org analyzed the giving of those groups in real time, releasing immediately after the vote their analysis. (I'm just delayed in posting!) They found that those "interested" in the legislation, both pro and con, gave over $8,000 more to the individual legislators who voted the way they wanted them to. A press release from Maplight.org gives more detail:

Opponents--such as Accident and Health Insurance, Big Business, Chambers of Commerce, Restaurant and Manufacturing, Retail and Wholesale Trade gave an average of $22,693 to legislators who voted No on this bill, compared to $14,183 to legislators who voted Yes. The disparity is 160% more money given to a No vote.

Supporters--such as Health and Welfare, Mental Health care-givers, Mental Health Services, Clergy and Non-profit--gave an average of $4,242 to legislators who voted Yes on this bill, compared to $1,812 to legislators who voted No. The disparity is 234% more money given to a Yes vote, or $2,430.

MAPLight.org looks at correlations between campaign contributions and legislation, giving citizens key information to allow them to "draw their own conclusions about how campaign contributions affect policy," Dan Newman, MAPLight.org's director, said in the release.

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