Kentucky's health-care industry spent about $1.5 million, more than any other industry, to lobby state legislators in in the first four months of the year.
"Health care spending was led by hospital operators, who spent about $300,000, including Kentucky Hospital Association ($56,000), Norton Healthcare ($44,631), Baptist Healthcare System ($42,800) and St. Elizabeth Healthcare ($28,182)," the Lexington Herald-Leader's Jack Brammer writes, from a report by the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission.
Pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies spent the second highest amount, about $281,000. That includes contributions from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association ($67,333), Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America/PhRMA ($23,362), Amgen ($19,389), Glaxo SmithKline ($18,500), American Pharmacy Cooperative ($18,000) and Pfizer ($15,000).
Other big spenders include the Kentucky Medical Association ($71,415); All Things Good, a Louisville-based chiropractic business ($65,000); Kentucky Optometric Association ($61,604); and Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians & Surgeons ($26,000).
A total of about $7 million was spent on legislative lobbying in Kentucky in the first four months of 2011. About $6.5 million of that was spent by 660 employers of lobbyists and about $445,000 was spent by lobbyists themselves. The insurance industry, which is often related to the health industry, spent about $354,000. Energy and utility interests like coal and natural gas spent $516,000. Reports filed by employers and legislative agents are compiled on the Legislative Ethics Commission's website. For the Herald-Leader story, go here.