Health care groups spent more on lobbyists in 2011 than any other industry, with the sector’s largest associations posting more than $80 million combined, according to data released this month by OpenSecrets.org.
Among health groups, the American Medical Association spent $21.5 million on lobbyists. Blue Cross/Blue Shield came a close second at $20.9 million. Their targets ranged from malpractice legislation to the status of health insurance brokers.
The top single spender, as it has been since 2001, was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which paid lobbyists more than $66 million to influence Congress. The Chamber’s guns were mostly trained on Dodd-Frank, labour regulations and tort reform.
But health care-related bills got the most overall attention from lobbyists, who spent a combined half a billion dollars to influence such legislation.
Overall, 2011 lobbying spending totaled $3.27 billion, a 6.8% decline from last year.
Here’s the full list of top lobbying spenders: