Kentucky Health News
Lobbying reports to the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission showed the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, which lobbies on some health issues, ranked first by spending $408,301, mainly for the 16 lobbyists it employs. The Kentucky Hospital Association was second at $304,707.
The third-place spender, at $269,685, was tobacco company Altria, parent of Philip Morris USA. Altria “successfully lobbied to block a bill raising taxes on cigarettes and vaping products and another that would give local governments the ability to add extra regulations on the display of tobacco and vaping products,” Sonka reports.
The fourth-ranking spender was the ACLU of Kentucky, at $195,489. Among other things, it lobbied unsuccessfully against bills to restrict abortion.
The main lobbying group for doctors, the Kentucky Medical Association, ranked fifth at $157,416. KMA spent $30,000 “for polling it commissioned late in the year to craft messaging for one of its top legislative priorities” in the session that begam Jan. 3 and will resume Feb. 5. “The KMA has a website promoting a “physician-led, team-based care model,” urging people to contact legislators and oppose legislation to lift limits on services that can be provided by nurse practitioners,” Sonka rpeorts.
Hospital firm HCA Healthcare, which has hospitals in Bowling Green and Frankfort, was seventh in lobbying spending at $146,548. LifePoint Health, which has hospitals in Flemingsburg, Georgetown, Lebanon, Mayfield, Maysville, Paris, Somerset, Versailles and Winchester, reported spending $110,002, ranking it 17th.
The other lobbying group in the top eight was the Kentucky League of Cities, which ranked sixth at $151,308. Its main legislative interest, a constitutional amendment to give cities more taxing options, including sales taxes, was defeated by the No. 9 group, the Kentucky Retail Federation, which reported spending $142,237. Overall lobbying expenses hit a record $24.3 million in 2022.