Companies infused eight lobbyists for every federal lawmaker into the health care debate.

A new analysis by the Center for Public Integrity shows that corporate interests attempted to exert an unprecedented amount of influence in the health care debate over the past year. More than “1,750 companies and organizations hired about 4,525 lobbyists — eight for each member of Congress — to influence health reform bills in 2009.” These groups included 207 hospitals, 105 insurance companies, 85 manufacturing companies, and 745 trade, advocacy, and professional organizations. Overall, “[b]usinesses and organizations that lobbied on health reform spent more than $1.2 billion on their overall lobby efforts.”

In June, Senate Republicans met with health care lobbyists in order to “recruit stakeholders to oppose options such as a government-funded insurance plan and a mandate requiring employers to help pay for heath insurance.” Republicans also requested that health care lobbyists be given at least 72 hours to review any legislative language in the Senate Finance Committee. A recent Center for Responsive Politics analysis found that “federal lobbying soared to record levels last year,” with “about $1.3 million spent on lobbying for every hour that Congress was in session in 2009.”