Lobbying run amok: Eight health care lobbyists for every member of Congress
President Obama will meet with 22 high-ranking lawmakers on Thursday to discuss health care reform and how to accomplish it.
But if newly released information about lobbying in 2009 is any indication, the private sector and its interests may already be secured.
For every member of Congress, there were eight lobbyists working to influence health care reform last year, according to research by The Center for Public Integrity.
That’s about 4,525 total lobbyists from 1,750 companies that include 207 hospitals, 105 insurance companies and 85 manufacturing companies.
The biggest group by far were the trade and advocacy organizations, which accounted for a whopping 745 companies lobbying for their own vision of health care in the US.
One of the most powerful political groups in the capital, the AARP deployed no less than 58 lobbyists to fight for their cause.
The Center has also created a database that allows users to search by company and lobbyist and includes the amount each organization spent, the lobbying firms they hired, and the names of individual lobbyists who took the message to Congress.
One of the Center’s interactive databases is available below.
After losing its super-majority in the Senate with the election of Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, Congressional Democrats have little hope they can deliver on health care reform in coming weeks.
Republican opposition remains strong and Thursday’s summit seems to offer little chance of real compromise.
From the amount of money and lobbyists that have been working against them, Democrats’ hopes for health care reform may have been doomed at the outset.