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The “tea party” movement, too, has its own third-party advocacy groups: the Tea Party Patriots and the Tea Party Express.

The free-wheeling spending on the November elections is, in part, according to Mr. Potter, a continuation of the struggle over the future of health care reform.

With a wave of candidates promising to repeal or roll back the law, and ongoing struggles over implementing and fine-tuning the legislation, the health care industry is determined to protect its interests.

“What’s at stake for [the health care industry and the insurance industry] is profit,” said Mr. Potter, a former insurance company executive who now works as a consumer advocate. “And by profit, I mean: Will these industries continue to rake in obscene profits or will they begin to see their margins squeezed? Because these reforms, if implemented as intended, will curb profiteering.”

Some of the health industry money will be used to defend the new law or at least parts favorable to the interest group in question.

Dr. Ardis Hoven, chairman of the American Medical Association, said the legislation isn’t perfect, but it’s a good start.

“The new law covers millions of uninsured Americans and improves the health care system for those already insured, but there is much work to be done,” she told The Washington Times. “Congress must stop the drastic Medicare physician payment cut scheduled for December 1 and fix the broken Medicare payment system to ensure seniors’ access to health care.”

The AMA, according to the CRP, has spent more than $15 million this year on lobbying and about another $500,000 on campaign contributions.

Still, others in the medical community are clearly campaigning against “Obamacare.”

Anti-spending tea party activists have founded the Doctors Tea Party, headed by Dr. Jane Orient, head of the conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. And the Physicians Hospitals of America, an association of small hospitals, has filed a lawsuit claiming that the health care overhaul, known as the Affordable Care Act, will put smaller facilities out of business.

The PHA contends that the millions spent by the big hospital chains and for-profit health care systems lobbying Congress over the past year paid off when the Affordable Care Act introduced new restrictions on smaller hospitals.