LOBBYING: Insurance, Tobacco Lead Spending Barrage
The insurance and pharmaceutical industries ranked first and second, respectively, in lobbying expenditures last year, according to a report released yesterday by the Center for Responsive Politics. The report notes that total lobbying expenditures increased 13% in 1998, to $1.42 billion. The insurance industry made the largest contribution to that figure, with $77.2 million spent on lobbying, while Big Pharma nipped at its heels with $73.8 million in spending, Congress Daily/A.M. reports. The tobacco industry nearly doubled its lobbying outlays last year, spending $67.4 million in 1998 and vaulting itself to the top of the lobbying heap (Wegner, 7/29). In opposition to anti-tobacco legislation, British American Tobacco spent $25.2 million last year, bumping the American Medical Association from the top spot for an individual company (Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times, 7/29). Philip Morris followed closely at $23 million (McAllister, Washington Post, 7/29). The Sun-Times notes that the "tobacco spending is remarkable since the industry focuses on a narrow set of issues" compared to the AMA, which had to deal with a host of issues including HMO reform, Medicare reform, patient privacy and a collective bargaining bill for doctors (7/29).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.