Heaviest lobbying by health care firms
Partners HealthCare led the way, spending $683,520 on lobbying
health care firms, led by hospital systems and insurance companies, spent the most money on Beacon Hill lobbying activities in 2013.
Partners HealthCare, which owns Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is in the midst of a battle with state regulators over its expansion plans, was the top dog, spending $683,520 on lobbying.
The top six lobbying outlays all came from firms involved with health care, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest health insurer, and Steward Health Care, a for-profit hospital system. Maximus, a Virginia company that won a big Medicaid contract last year, also broke into the top 10.
Nearly every hospital system in the state spent more than $100,000 on lobbying, including Children’s Hospital ($321,661), Tenet Health Care ($239,000), UMass Memorial Health Care ($182,652), Boston Medical Center ($159,200), and Lahey Health ($128,671).
While health care companies were the best represented among the top spenders, many other firms were active on Beacon Hill. Wynn Resorts, which is seeking approval to build a casino in Everett, spent $430,479 on lobbying, while Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, the company pursuing a casino license in Revere, spent $191,616. MGM Resorts, seeking a license in Springfield, spent $150,000. KG Urban Enterprises, looking to build in New Bedford, spent $139,800.
Keolis, the French company that won a $2.8 billion, eight-year contract to run the MBTA’s commuter rail operations, spent $300,000 on lobbying, beating out the $179,000 spent by its rival, Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail, and one of the partners of the ousted management firm, Veolia Transportation.Most of the other companies writing big checks for lobbying on Beacon Hill had familiar names, since they tend do business with or are heavily regulated by the state. But there were some unusual companies popping up among the leaders.
Medbox, an Arizona company that offers technology to securely dispense medications such as marijuana, spent $144,000 on lobbying. The Boston Foundation, the philanthropic organization, spent $241,419 on lobbying activities. Boston Beer, the maker of Samuel Adams, spent $187,000. Two wind energy companies—First Wind of Boston and Deepwater Wind of Providence—spent $137,226 and $120,000, respectively. Just Energy of Chelsea, a retailer selling electricity and natural gas, spent $120,000.