(AP Photo/PGR-HO)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The American Benefits Council spent $238,942 in the third quarter to lobby the federal government on a variety of health care, retirement, financial reform, and budget issues important to its members.

The Washington-based council is spending about 20% more than it was spending in the third quarter of 2010, according to a report for the July-through-September quarter that was filed with the Federal Election Commission Oct. 19.

The council represents companies that sponsor health and retirement plans.

 
The council has been lobbying on issues such as implementation of provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that affect retirement plans, but a major focus has been lobbying related to implementation of the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
 
In connection with PPACA, the council has been lobbying the Internal Revenue Service, the Employee Benefits Security Administration over at the U.S. Labor Department, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and HHS agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
 
The council also has lobbied on government appropriations bills that could have affected worker benefits, and it courted the Joint Select Committee — the “Super Committee” that tried, and failed, to find more than $1 trillion in budget cut proposals by Thanksgiving.

The most recent lobbying report covers the July-through-September quarter and was filed Oct. 19.