Health lobbying explodes in 2009

We all know that the Hill has been thick with lobbyists since reform debates began in earnest this year. Just how thick? Well, according to a new analysis appearing in USA Today, the number of companies and groups lobbying Congress on reform issues has almost doubled this year.

The newspaper's analysis concluded that as many as 1,000 groups have hired lobbyists to represent them on the Hill since January of this year, as compared with 505 during the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, firms and groups have spent $422 million during the first nine months of '09, up 10 percent from the same period in 2008.

As no one will be surprised to hear, one of the big spenders in the lobbying game has been PhRMA, which has laid out $30 million so far on an advertising campaign promoting its version of health reform. The campaign, which is working through Americans for Stable Quality Care, is targeting pro-reform Senators in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Get more perspective on reform lobbying efforts:
- read this Kaiser Health News article

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