Health care lobbying is big business. Between 1998 and 2008, the number of registered lobbyists in health care more than doubled to 3,627, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s more than six lobbyists for each of the 535 members of the House and Senate, and three times the number of people registered to lobby on defense.
These groups spent $263.4 million on health care lobbying during the first six months of 2009 and are on track to exceed $500 million for the year. That’s “only” about .02 percent of the total $2.6 trillion slice of the U.S. economy, so someone is obviously getting a good bang for the buck here.
It’s in our Constitution: the right to petition, the right of free speech. Health care reform means it’s dinner time on K Street. If you’ve got the money, honey, Congress has the time.