By Megan R. Wilson
The Hill, August 25, 2013
ObamaCare has become big business for an elite network of Washington lobbyists and consultants who helped shape the law from the inside.
More than 30 former administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who worked on the healthcare law have set up shop on K Street since 2010.
Veterans of the healthcare push are now lobbying for corporate giants such as Delta Air Lines, UPS, BP America and Coca-Cola, and for healthcare companies including GlaxoSmithKline, UnitedHealth Group and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
Ultimately, the clients are after one thing: expert help in dealing with the most sweeping overhaul of the country’s healthcare system in decades.
Experts say that those able to fetch the highest salaries have come from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or committees with oversight power over healthcare.
“After passage of major legislation, those who have networks on Capitol Hill take exceedingly lucrative jobs with the same industries subject to the legislation,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen. “It raises questions about the [bill’s] integrity.”
By Don McCanne, M.D.
We need lobbyists, that is lobbyists such as Craig Holman of Public Citizen. But what about administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who helped to create a profoundly wasteful health care financing system that falls tragically short of reform goals, and then left government employment to accept windfalls as private lobbyists representing clients who must deal with Obamacare? As Holman says, it raises questions about the bill’s integrity
Lobbying integrity that makes the difference? “Public Citizen serves as the people’s voice in the nation’s capital.” Public Citizen is already on record as supporting a single payer system: