The current economic slump lumbers along, but one industry is booming: Health-care lobbying.
Over 180 groups have registered to help shape the new health care law, prompting CNNMoney to explain that “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. . . . In addition, lobbyists for 1,251 organizations disclosed that they worked on health care reform in 2009 and 2010. . . . The number of individual lobbyists who reported working on health related legislation last year hit 3,154. . . .
Bad or good?
Well, it’s to be expected. The more the federal government involves itself in any domain of life, the more reactions to expect from those engaged in that domain. And it’s not just big business petitioning government for favors or forbearance or simply an ongoing “in.” Unions and associations and non-profits are onboard, too. After all, a simple line or even a word in a law can make or break a concern.
Besides, if our legislators insist on regulating every aspect of life, they’ll need all the help they can get. But since that “help” inevitably emanates from ever larger legions of back-slapping lobbyists huddling with glad-handing politicians, it’d be better if Congress left well enough alone.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.