UNDATED (AP) -
An Associated Press review of state records has found that, hospitals, insurers, doctors, unions and pharmaceutical companies spent more than $18.8 million lobbying Massachusetts lawmakers last year.
That's a 74 percent jump compared with the nearly $10.8 million the industry spent on lobbying in 2007, the year Massachusetts' landmark health care law took effect.
That, in turn, is just a portion of the $103 million the industry has poured into lobbying in the seven years since the law took effect, according to the AP review.
Government watchdog groups say most people are shocked when they hear of the amount of money being spent by companies trying to get the ear of state officials.
But the health care industry defends the spending saying they're also fighting for the interests of patients.
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