Health Groups Lobbying & Executives’ $$$s

The February 16th issue of National Journal has its biennial salary report (2006 data) for national advocacy and trade associations. Since most of my posts have been too long I’ll keep this one short with two (OK – actually three) interesting points:

First, in addition to salary information, National Journal reports on lobbying spending of various organizations. It’s not surprising that 3 of the top 10 trade associations [501(c)(6) organizations] in lobbying dollars are from the health industry: PhRMA, AMA, Am. Hosp. Assoc. But what is interesting, is that all of the top 5 non-profits [501(c)(3) organizations] in lobbying spending are health related organizations: Am. Cancer Soc., Am. Heart Assoc., Am. Red Cross, Am. College of Physicians, Am. Diabetes, Assoc. [FYI – it’s also interesting to note that the non-profit which spent the most on lobbying spent less than the #7 trade association: $13.9 million by the Am. Cancer Soc. v. $15.0 million by the AHA.]

Second – and what I think is more interesting – is that in the listing of salaries for the heads of 125 health trade association, the bottom five (all with salaries less than $90,000 – not including other benefits) in alphabetical order were:

  • AIDS Action Foundation
  • American Association for Homecare
  • American Society for Clinical Nutrition
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (a.k.a ASTHO)
  • Council for Affordable Health Insurance

I think this is quite an interesting snapshot – statement about healthcare priorities in the US.

And to put a broader perspective on health as part of our national priorities, the three labor unions with the highest paid heads were:

  1. National Football League Players Association ($1.86M compensation w/o benefits)
  2. Major League Baseball Players Association ($1.0M)
  3. Screen Actors Guild ($774,000)

What do you think of these interesting numbers and comparisons?

2 thoughts on “Health Groups Lobbying & Executives’ $$$s

  1. As a fellow participant in the health care crisis debate, beyond the specific numbers you quote is the stark contrast of what the general population is being fed regarding health care policy and what physicians and insurance companies are doing to protect their wallets.

    Based on an attempt to recycle the failed army ad (an army of one, turns out people didn’t respond to being alone as an army), we are being told that it’s up to each of us…empowerment.

    United we stand, divided we fall is more the reality of the complex relationship among the health care stakeholders…consumers, health care providers, and insurance companies IF they represent a viable means for people obtaining assistance in paying for medical care.

    You’ll note that health care providers are organizing, aligning, and coming together in their support of expanding insurance coverage. This is not based on some deep-rooted recognition of the human condition, that would foster the creation of clinics, and the financing of staff for those clinics, not lobbyists. Obtaining PAY is the goal and maximizing that PAY is its subsidiary.

    For consumer purposes, while we’re distracted by the busy body politics of why we deserve a better insurance rate than our neighbor, understand, while the argument is couched in terms of health, it is really about money and by breaking up the power of numbers by fragmenting consumers into different groups, we all lose.

  2. I think all lobbying should be outlawed.There was a time state or federal governments worked for the citizens now they work for corporations.The American people are sick of greedy politicians and greedy insurance companies.They have brainwashed the people to believe “you must have private insurance” the facts are you don’t.My husband has medicare and pays $94.00 a month and never been denied anything.We could all have that today if the insurance companies weren’t in the way.The entire country is fed up with private insurance.They want us to believe that the private sector is always more efficient than public sector and thats propagated by business interest.So there you have it,it’s all about the money.

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