Hospitals spent $4.5 million on lobbying in New Jersey last year, topping the list of special interest groups in the state, according to the recent analysis of lobbying reports released late last week by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
That was a 25 percent increase over 2012, and Jeff Brindle, executive director of ELEC, said that healthcare issues helped explain the jump. Among the issues facing the legislature last year were privatization of hospitals and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Hospitals beat out unions ($4.3 million), insurance ($3.7 million), energy ($3.4 million), and ideological ($2.6 million) lobbyists. Hospitals were not the only healthcare lobbyists; other health lobbying totaled $913,528.
Both the New Jersey Hospital Association, with spending of $628,337, and Hackensack University Medical Center ($508,500) were among the top 10 lobbying spenders.