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Health care lobbying boom continues

Jennifer Liberto, senior writer


WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- A year after Congress enacted sweeping health care reform, the lobbying bonanza is continuing.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act was signed into law last March, but much of the work implementing the law is going on now at dozens of different federal agencies. And with legislative tweaks expected and Republicans trying to defund the law, lobbying on health care is still going strong.

To date, more than 180 groups have registered to continue shaping the law, the Sunlight Foundation and center reports.

President Obama's drive for health care reform has been a years-long boon for lobbyists.

Over 2009 and 2010, $1.06 billion was spent on lobbying, with more than $500 million spent on lobbying the issue in each year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

In addition, lobbyists for 1,251 organizations disclosed that they worked on health care reform in 2009 and 2010, according to the center and an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation. The number of individual lobbyists who reported working on health related legislation last year hit 3,154 in 2010.

Big Pharma topped the list. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent $22 million and deployed an army of no fewer than 52 lobbyists, according to the center.

Blue Cross Blue Shield, which used 43 lobbyists, spent $21 million. The biotech company Amgen (AMGN, Fortune 500) employed 33 lobbyists and spent $10.2 million.

On the political side, donors with ties to the health sector raised $137 million for federal candidates in the 2010 election cycle. That may sound like a lot, but it's $30 million less than that sector raised during the 2008 presidential race, according to the center. To top of page

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