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Health Care Industry Top Lobbyists In California

Aired 3/13/12 on KPBS News.

Health care firms spent more than $35 million on lobbying in California in 2011.

— The California secretary of state says health care lobbyists spent more than $35 million last year. The biggest health care player was Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser spent $3.5 million lobbying in California last year.

The insurer doesn't say what measures it was concerned about.

But Jamie Court, with the non-profit Consumer Watchdog, thinks a bill to regulate health insurance rates was a major target.

"Whether it's more regulation of the hospitals, or lowering the cost of health-insurance premiums, Kaiser has an interest in keeping regulators away from their business," Court said.

The California Hospital Association was the state's second-biggest health care lobbyist last year.

Overall statewide, health care groups spent more than any other industry on lobbying in 2011.

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