Insurance Companies Increased Lobbying By 24 Percent In 2009
The Hill reports on insurer lobbying spending in 2009: "America's largest insurance companies spent millions more on lobbying last year as lawmakers debated healthcare reform, lobbying disclosure records show. Overall, the companies increased lobbying spending by an average of 24 percent from 2008 to 2009, according to an analysis by The Hill of disclosure reports released this week. The list includes insurance giants such as Aetna and Wellpoint along with the industry's major trade association, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)." Wellpoint was the largest spender among the insurers, and Humana showed the biggest increase in lobbing spending (Bogardus, 1/24).
Health News Florida: "Thursday's Supreme Court ruling, which allows companies to pour unlimited money into advertising campaigns for political issues, is 'nirvana,' according to a spokesman for big business in Florida. But consumer groups say corporate interests will drown out all other voices in the fight for health reform." Brad Ashwell of Florida Public Interest Research Group says the decision "tips the scales of power against people struggling in a broken health care system." Barney Bishop III, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida, "thinks the decision will have less impact on health care companies than other industries because they have already spent so heavily on health care reform" (Gulliver and Melone, 1/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.