Report: Health Industry Spends Upwards Of $1.4 Million A Day On Lobbyists
"In a new report released today, the government watchdog group Common Cause found that major health care interests have spent upwards of $1.4 million a day to lobby Capitol Hill so far this year," the National Journal reports. This political spending amount represents a 73 percent increase since 2000. In addition, the report finds that campaign contributions to members of Congress jumped $40 million since 2000, to $94 million in the 2008 election cycle (Krigman, 6/24).
Health reform is "a historic confluence of issues that, as a consequence, has the Capitol swarming with lobbyists and awash with money," NPR reports, announcing its new initiative to track influence and lobbying in the health care debate. "These days, just about every interest has a lobbyist. Drug manufacturers, hospitals, doctors, pharmacists, marriage counselors, chiropractors, unions." This year, Congress could actually pass a health system overhaul bill, lobbyists said, so they are attending congressional committee meetings and working the Hill in droves (Overby and Seabrook, 6/25).