Healthcare is big business — not just for the healthcare industry itself, but for people profiting from buying and selling stock in the industry.
One of the people making a buck off of healthcare industry stock is Julie Dann, the wife of Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Illinois). According to Rep. Schneider’s 2017 financial disclosure form, Dann has been aggressively buying and selling stock in health insurance and medical device companies for years, and making a hefty profit as a result. Both Bradley and Julie Dann Schneider have a combined net worth of at least $15 million, with most of it coming in the form of healthcare stock.
Campaign finance news site Sludge reported on Dann’s history of stock purchases and sales dating back to 2006, when her family’s company, Dann Insurance — which Roll Call referred to as “Chicago’s largest privately owned insurance brokerage firm” — was purchased by Mesirow Financial. In 2016, Mesirow offloaded its insurance assets to Alliant Insurance Services.
Dann owns between $250,000 and $500,000 of stock in Alliant Holdings LP. According to Roll Call, Dann is a senior executive at Alliant. Sludge reported that Julie Dann Schneider bought heathcare stock as recently as February 2019:
Since 2017, Dann has bought and sold stock in other companies in the health care industry, including Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (she bought and then sold between $250,001 and $500,000 worth of stock) and Teladoc (she bought $100,001 and $250,000 worth of stock).
Most recently, in February 2019, Dann bought between $250,001 and $500,000 worth of stock in AptarGroup, which manufactures dispensers for pharmaceutical products, and sold between $250,001 and $500,000 worth of stock in medical device company ResMed, which she had purchased in 2018.
Rep. Schneider sits on the health subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is charged with all tax-writing legislation. Given his position on the health subcommittee, Rep. Schneider would be directly involved in writing and amending the funding portions of Medicare for All legislation. He previously told the Chicago Tribune in 2017 that he’s opposed to Medicare for All given its cost.
“In its current form, the bill is far too short on important details including the overall cost of the program, how much of that cost will be passed onto taxpayers, and how doctors and other health care providers will be adequately paid,” Schneider told the Tribune. “I share the belief that healthcare is a right rather than a privilege, and right now I’m working to achieve that goal by protecting the progress of the Affordable Care Act from irresponsible repeal and building on the successes of the law.”
Of course, the Mercatus Center — a conservative think tank at George Mason University — already calculated that Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vermont) Medicare for All bill would actually be $2 trillion cheaper over a ten-year period than America’s current healthcare system. While some Americans’ taxes may go up to pay for the plan, Americans would still see a net savings, as they would no longer have to pay monthly premiums and annual deductibles to private health insurance companies.
A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released in January found that 68 percent of Americans, including both Democrats and Republicans, wanted a national health plan like Medicare for All. Schneider is one of the 130 House Democrats who has not yet co-sponsored the Medicare for All Act of 2019, and has received more than $514,000 in campaign donations from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries since 2011.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.