Health insurers gave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over $86 million to fund the chamber’s opposition to parts of the health care reform proposal, according to a published report.

Citing tax records and confidential sources, the Associated Press reports health insurers gave the money to the Chamber last year through America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Washington.

The spending exceeded AHIP’s entire budget for 2008 totaled 40% of the Chamber’s $214.6 million in spending last year, according to the AP.

AHIP raised the funds to help stifle the public option proposal that was in the original Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the AP says. That option, which would have provided government-backed insurance to the general public, was ultimately stripped from PPACA before it was enacted.

-Trevor Thomas