BUSINESS
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Lobbyists See No End To Health Reform Frenzy

Despite the lackluster economy, some lobbyists expect decades' worth of job security thanks to this year's health care reform haul, reports The Hill.

"Every bill we've passed in the last 10 years we call 'The Lobbyist Full-Employment Act,'" one lobbyist quipped. "Healthcare's never going away"...

"If we were to pass this bad boy, we're going to be working on this thing for 10 years solid," a healthcare lobbyist said. "There's going to be one mother of a fix-it bill before 2013."

Should the legislation pass, lobbyists will be working overtime to chip away at the implementation of the bill and industries targeted for cuts will try to recoup the money they could loose.

Third-quarter lobbying data shows that interest groups have already spent a staggering $263.6 million on health care through the end of July. Compare that with the record $485.4 million from all of last year, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

And if history is any indication, if any of the current health care bills is passed, it will likely lead to follow-up legislation that lobbyists can attach themselves to.

The pharmaceutical industry has already funneled unprecedented sums of money through lobbyists to influence current attempts at reform. According to newly-released third-quarter filings, PhRMA, the drug industry's premier lobbying group, spent $6.7 million influencing lawmakers and drug manufacturer Pfizer shelled out $5.3 million on lobbying.

Meanwhile, the insurance industry's main lobbying group, America's Health Insurance Plan, footed a $2.4 million in lobbying, while the Federation for American Hospitals spent $1 million lobbying.

From USA Today:

"In terms of lobbying, drug and insurance companies have the loudest voice, and they have the deepest pockets," said Dave Levinthal of the Center for Responsive Politics."It remains to be seen what the effect of this unprecedented lobbying will have."