I have been asked this question many times by members. Before I answer it, we need to do a deeper dive into what each of these political action committees (PAC) does and why we have two of them.
HUPAC stands for Health Underwriters Political Action Committee and is the federal chartered PAC sponsored by our national association, NAHU. HUPAC is based in Washington DC and is regulated at the federal level by the Federal Election Commission or more commonly known as the FEC. FEC regulations set very strict reporting requirements on federal PACS as well as who can contribute, how much they can contribute, and how much can be contributed each election cycle.FEC regulations also require federal PACs to only contribute to candidates running for federal office such as the U.S. Congress and President of the United States, however a loophole in FEC regulations allow federal PACS to contribute to state candidates running for governor or state insurance commissioner, if that particular state elects their insurance commissioner. In Indiana, our State Insurance Commissioner is not elected, but appointed by the Governor, so HUPAC cannot contribute to that office. HUPAC can also contribute to other federal PACS that are registered with the FEC. HUPAC contributions allow members of the NAHU senior legislative staff in Washing DC to meet face to face with key members of the U.S. Congress in leadership positions as well as allowing NAHU members from all over the country to meet with their members of Congress.
Federal PAC’s are prohibited by law from contributing to other state candidates, which is why approximately 15 years ago ISAHU formed a state PAC called the Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters Political Action Committee, or as we commonly refer to as ISAHU-PAC. In Indiana, state PACs are regulated by the Indiana Election Commission, a sub-agency under the Indiana Secretary of State’s office. Indiana State law regulates who can contribute to state PACs, how much can be contributed each election cycle, and also provides very strict reporting requirements for state PACs. State PACs in Indiana are allowed to contribute to state and local candidates, as well as other state registered PACs, although ISAHU-PAC has historically only contributed to candidates for the Indiana General Assembly, Governor, and state leadership PACs sponsored by political parties. While sponsored by ISAHU, ISAHU-PAC has separate governance from ISAHU, including separate bylaws and a separate Board of Directors that oversee the management of ISAHU-PAC. ISAHU-PAC contributes to many political fundraising events that allow our State Leg Chair, our State PAC Chair, and members of the State Legislative Committee to attend these events and meet face to face with our key state legislators in leadership positions and our Indiana Governor as well as key members of the Governor’s administration.
Now back to the question, which PAC should I contribute to, HUPAC or ISAHU-PAC. The short answer is both. The bottom line is both PACs have very specific and critical missions, whether at the federal level or the state level. Both PAC’s have been instrumental for many years in helping NAHU and ISAHU pursue our legislative objectives and goals, so this is why it is important for you to support both.