I'm very impressed that Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake.com has had so much success raising money to thank House members for standing up for the public option. In the past week her “Stand Up For The Public Option” page on ActBlue.com has raised $397,684 for progressive Democratic House members.
For a comparison I went to opensecrets.org to see how much money the HMOs and private health insurance companies have given to the federal candidates this year. According to Opensecrets.org, if Firedoglake.com's effort to save the public option was a health insurance company, it would be the single largest donor in terms of candidate donations for the 2010 election cycle. It raised barely less than the total donations from all the different 45 chapters of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association, which donated a total of $524,606 to federal canidates for 2010. All health service/HMOs companies have given a total of $1,781,080 to federal canidates so far this cycle.*
*This post needs several caveats. First, the data on Opensecrets.org is not updated frequently (ActBlue.com is updated by the second. Second, this is only about donations directly to federal candidates this year. It does not count money spent on things like lobbyists, donations to other PAC's, direct advocacy commercials, etc... These activities account for the vast majority of industry money spent on trying to shape the health care reform debate.