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And the winner of the health debate...Lobbyists!

From the Center for Public Integrity:

While patients, taxpayers, and lawmakers debate the impact of the new health care reform law, one result is clear: The epic battle was a bonanza for K Street lobbyists.

The Center for Public Integrity analysis of 2009 lobbyist disclosure data, “Washington Lobbying Giants Cash in on Health Reform Debate,” shows the biggest winners, based on number of lobbying clients, from health care reform. They are Patton Boggs LLP, Alston & Bird LLP, Foley Hoag LLP, Podesta Group Inc., Capital Tax Partners LLP, Holland & Knight LLP, Dutko Worldwide LLC, Drinker Biddle & Reath LP, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti Inc., Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, Bryan Cave LLP, and Van Scoyoc Associates.

The clients who hired these firms ranged from influential industry associations to small non-profit advocacy groups. Some hired more than one of the top firms to lobby for their interests. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, for example, hired Capital Tax Partners, Dutko, Mehlman, and 22 other outside firms, in addition to the group's own in-house lobbyists. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. hired Patton Boggs, Podesta Group, Mehlman, and Bryan Cave.

The Center's full report is here.

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