More than 3,000 Health Care Lobbyists Lurk in Halls of Congress

August 14, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A piece from Bloomberg on Friday, reports on a startling head count of 3,300 registered health care lobbyists, competing to influence lawmakers, as they prepare to finalize health reform legislation. The growing numbers of influence peddlers break down to six lobbyists for each of the 535 members of both houses of Congress.

With more than 1,500 organizations registering new health care lobbyists every day, to parade through the halls of Congress for the chance at convincing a lawmaker of their client’s case, there doesn’t seem to be time to consider the concerns of ordinary American citizens.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, health care lobbyists outspent all other interest groups, spending $263.4 million during the first half of 2009. Drugmakers accounted for $134.5 million of the health care influence spending.

Companies, such as Amgen Inc., Pfizer Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Walmart all have lobbyists positioned on Capital Hill to make sure their interests are taken into consideration, when drafting health care legislation. Thousands of health care lobbyists line up outside lawmakers’ offices every day for a few precious moments of time to convince members of Congress that their client’s interest should take precedence over another’s.

The influence peddling does not stop at the halls of Congress; that’s just the beginning. Advocates for health care companies have already spent $53 million on advertising and have contributed $20.5 million to congressional candidates and the political parties, during the first six months of 2009.

Once the lawmakers return from their August recess, the number of lobbyists and money spent is expected to increase.


Comments

2 Responses to “More than 3,000 Health Care Lobbyists Lurk in Halls of Congress”

  1. More than 3,000 Health Care Lobbyists Lurk in Halls of Congress « IT News on August 14th, 2009 4:13 pm

    […] See the rest here: More than 3,000 Health Care Lobbyists Lurk in Halls of Congress […]

  2. Wellescent Health Blog on August 14th, 2009 5:03 pm

    Sadly, only the sheer numbers of lobbyists is real news in this article. Lobbyists have long been paid to advance the interests of those who pay them and since lobbying takes money, it is only the special interests that have money that are able to really exert influence. With the US health care economy somewhere around $ 2.7 trillion, there are a lot of parties that want to preserve their streams of income. While the public elects a party to run the country, the majority of public influence is lost after the election. It is only with concerted grass roots efforts that the public can really enact change, but generally unless people feel really threatened, they won’t become involved to force the parties to serve those who elected them.

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