As the debate over health care reform has reached a crescendo, so has the amount of money spent by insurers to impact the debate’s outcome.  

According to a report released by the Washington-based Public Campaign Action Fund, spending by 14 major health insurers and industry association for the first half of the year totaled $15.5 million, a pace of nearly $2.5 million per month.

The tally, which includes campaign contributions by company political action committees and employees, as well as lobbying expenses, represents an increase of 25% over previous years.

Paradoxically, while the money is up, the number of registered lobbyists declined.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the insurance companies and HMOs have a combined 1,795 registered lobbyists working in Washington D.C.—fewer than 2,000 lobbyists the industries employed in 2008.

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