For Health Care Lobbyists, ObamaCare Is the Gift That Keeps On Giving


In his January State of the Union speech, President Obama woefully declared that "each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith." But by the following month, The Hill was reporting that "despite his push to rein in special interests, President Barack Obama sparked a boom on K Street." Lobbyists for the health care industry in particular were given an enormous boost in Washington as the health care bill rolled slowly through Congress and then moved on to the regulatory phase.

These days, though, much of the action on the health care front is moving to the states, which, thanks to the PPACA's network of state-based health insurance exchanges, are responsible for managing a significant amount of the law's implementation. And that means that the lobbying money is moving to the state level too. In Virginia, for example, health care companies are already spending more on lobbying than any other industry:

Lobbyists for managed health care were at the top of the list during this year's General Assembly session. That's the news from the latest batch of lobbyist reports for the period May 1, 2009, to April 30, 2010, at the secretary of the commonwealth office. The Virginia Association of Health Plans, Sentara Healthcare, the Medical Society of Virginia and the Virginia Hospital and Health Care Association and others together put together the largest tranche of lobby money to influence legislators.

Anyone else's faith fading fast?

Pick up a copy of the new issue of Reason's print edition to read my long feature on ObamaCare and the states.

NEXT: Sad Fact of the Day

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  1. How can there still be anyone out there who believes that Obama is some kind of reformer?

    1. He’s my kind of reformer.

  2. Anyone else’s faith fading fast?

    Can’t lose something I never had.

    1. I can say I had some faith, but it was ripped up & torn to shreds within about 3 weeks after the inauguration.

  3. What’s amazing is how many Reasonable people thought Obama would be anything more than a throwback to the worst of the Democratic heyday.

  4. Yep, it’s the lobbyists who have corrupted politicians, not the other way around. Create a monster then ask for a DNA test. And you thought Maury Povich was disgusting.

  5. Let me be clear: When I talked about the dangers of losing faith, I was talking about losing faith in Me.

    1. Stop hating. A wise poster here on H&R once said:

      He graduated from Harvard Law with a JD magna cum laude, after having been president of the Law Review. Do you know what those Latin words mean?

      You are all too hateful and small-minded to understand His greatness.

  6. Pete, we love ya, man, but enough with the PPACA. Its ObamaCare – he broke it, he bought it.

  7. Nobody could have foreseen this.

  8. It must be a dream.
    [clicking heels together]
    There’s no place like home.
    There’s no place like home.

  9. The San Jose Mercury News has printed a series of articles on lobbying in Sacramento. The lede is that corporate interests have been running the legislature and the cause is the loss of experienced politicians who know how to resist the charms of corporate concerns and the solution is to bring an end to term limits.

    What was not so noticeable in the series is that the top two lobbying influences in California are the Teacher’s Union and the Prison Guard union.

  10. ObamaCare has some built-in limits on lobbying by health insurers, at least, doesn’t it? They’re required to spend 85% on medical expenses, leaving just 15% for lobbying.

  11. Oh…I think they spend less than 15%.

    In case you have not noticed, thanks to Obamacare, health insurers are getting out of the “child only” market. I can’t say I blame them under current reform.

  12. And by the way…in case nobody noticed, health insurers are getting out of the “child only” market, thanks to Obamacare. Can’t say I blame them.

  13. And by the way…in case nobody noticed, health insurers are getting out of the “child only” market, thanks to Obamacare. Can’t say I blame them.

  14. And by the way…in case nobody noticed, health insurers are getting out of the “child only” market, thanks to Obamacare. Can’t say I blame them.

  15. After reading this thing I wondered where Reason found this guy. Not at all sure he said anything at all except “Ah hates Obaama”

    Checked out where he came from: American Conservative, Orange County Register, National Review, Wall Street Journal – all known right wing single sided nonsense. Add to that the venerable New York Post and well, I’ve been a Reason reader since that first black and white copy I picked up on a newstand in Hollywood back in about 1970 – you need to find better qualifications when you hire associate editors, unless of course you have decided that libertarian is bad and fascist babble is good.

    Gee, after all these years I thought that libertarianism is about economic freedom AND civil rights. This Rush/Beck guy’s history and this article suggests that he totally HATES that individual rights and liberties stuff.

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