Health Care Industry Groups Among Lobbying Big Spenders in Calif.
The California Hospital Association and Anthem Blue Cross of California are among the 10 organizations that spent the most on lobbying in the 2007-2008 legislative session, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis.
The Bee found that lobbying spending exceeded $70 million for the 10 groups that topped the list and that overall lobbying spending totaled $553 million for the two-year session, up from $193 million in the 1989-1990 session.
Lawmakers and advocates argue that lobbying campaigns raise substantial hurdles for some legislative efforts and result in the rejection of many bills.
Spending by Health Care Industry Groups
CHA spent $5.9 million during the 2007-2008 legislative session, coming in at No. 6 on the list.Â
CHA spokesperson Jan Emerson said a significant part of that spending went toward television advertisements urging lawmakers to approve the state budget last year.Â Medi-Cal payments to hospitals were frozen during the budget stalemate.
The Bee reports that although the budget debate continued, all six of the bills that CHA opposed were blocked (Goldmacher, Sacramento Bee, 3/29).
Blue Cross came in at No. 5 on the list, spending $6.22 million.Â
The health insurer opposed failed health care reform proposals by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and legislative Democrats, as well as legislation that would have required insurers to cover maternity services and a bill that would have tightened rules on insurance rescissions.Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed both bills (Dorrell/Goldmacher, Sacramento Bee graphic, 3/29). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.