Lobbying disclosures for the second quarter of 2017 have been pouring out. Bob Herman put on his galoshes and waded through the health care deluge:
PhRMA + member companies:
No health care group spent more in the second quarter than, you guessed it, big pharma. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America had lobbying expenses of $6 million, less than what it spent in the first quarter of this year but $120,000 more than in the same period of 2016. PhRMA also paid more than a dozen other lobbying shops to push its agenda.PhRMA member companies similarly played fast and loose with their wallets. Amgen spent $3.6 million, the most of any individual health care company. Bayer, Eli Lilly, Merck, Pfizer, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson each spent more than $1 million.AMA + AHA: Among the trade groups, right behind PhRMA was the American Medical Association ($5.28 million) and the American Hospital Association ($3.82 million). Both groups have opposed the Republican health care bills, which would result in doctors and hospitals treating more uninsured people.Not-for-profit hospitals: Fifteen individual not-for-profit hospital systems spent more than $100,000 lobbying Washington on everything from opposing the Republican health care bills to boosting Medicare payments to tax rules around uncompensated care. The biggest spenders, each doling out more than $200,000, were Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Mayo Clinic, Ascension, Advocate Health Care, Cleveland Clinic, and BayCare Health System.Large companies:Don't forget that the nation's largest companies subsidize their employees' health insurance and have a lot at stake in any reform. Google, Boeing, FedEx, General Motors, Coca-Cola, UPS, MillerCoors and General Electric were just a sample of the many, many names that lobbied Congress on health care.