Health Care Lobbyists Focus on Influencing Agencies

The passage of the Obama health care reform law two years ago didn’t end the job of lobbyists for the health care industry, reports Bloomberg News’ Kristin Jensen in this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek. They’ve just switched from walking the halls of Congress to visiting the federal agencies that regulate the industry, and moved to “making sure new rules aren’t too onerous.”

Lobbyists filed 4,305 reports with Congress last year saying they were seeking to influence the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to the Center for Responsive Politics — a 12 percent increase from 2009.

There are 56 Department of Health and Human Services regulations stemming from the health-care law that have been proposed or made final, an additional 10 open for comment, and dozens more percolating in various stages, according to the watchdog group Americans for Limited Government.

Health care lobbying spending has declined 9 percent in recent years , from a record $552 million in 2009 to $500 million last year.

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