WASHINGTON (AP) — A trade group representing nursing homes is spending big to help the Utah Republican Party, a move that could help Sen. Orrin Hatch stave off a tea party challenge and win re-election.
The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care gave $175,000 over the past year to the state party. Party officials used the donations in part to boost turnout at the state's neighborhood caucuses last month. Analysts say the broad turnout helped Hatch because more moderates were selected to serve as delegates at this month's convention.
If Hatch wins re-election, and if the Republicans take over the Senate, Hatch stands to chair the committee that has jurisdiction over the tens of billions of Medicare and Medicaid dollars that flow annually to nursing homes.
EDITOR'S NOTE _ An occasional look at how behind-the-scenes influence is exercised in Washington.