Insurance giants cut lobbying but still spend $2.7M

Four of the largest health insurers--Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and WellPoint--spent roughly $2.7 million lobbying the federal government in the second quarter.

The biggest spender was WellPoint, which paid out $1.3 million lobbying on regulations concerning accountable care organizations, the medical-loss ratio (MLR), rate reviews, and taxes on the industry and exchanges, reports the Associated Press. It actually increased its lobbying spending by 17 percent from last year, but decreased it by 3 percent from this year's first quarter.

The other insurers, however, cut their lobbying dollars. Aetna still spent $902,453, down 42 percent from last year, as it lobbied on legislation calling for the repeal of the individual mandate, a resolution disapproving of the MLR, a bill excluding broker compensation from the MLR formula, and legislation creating a national insurance marketplace, notes the AP.

Cigna spent $380,000--a 32 percent decrease from last year, but a 36 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011--lobbying Congress, the White House, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Congressional Budget Office, and the departments of Health & Human Services and Treasury on issues related to taxing employer-provided health coverage, according to the AP.

Following the general trend of spending fewer dollars on lobbying in the second quarter, Humana cut its federal lobbying by 33 percent to $180,000. It attempted to repeal an annual fee on insurance companies enacted by the overhaul, as well as lobbying on the FIT Kids Act, the Small Business Health Relief Act of 2011, and the Medicare Data Access for Transparency and Accountability Act. In addition to Congress and the White House, Humana lobbied CMS, the AP reports.

To learn more:
- read the AP articles on Aetna and Cigna
- check out the AP articles on Humana and WellPoint

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