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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Health Lobbying

In chapter 9, we discuss the "revolving door" between government and the interest-group world. In chapter 17, we discuss health care and other aspects of the welfare state. The Chicago Tribune provides further information on both topics with a report on health-care lobbying:
An analysis of public documents by Northwestern University's Medill News Service in partnership with the Tribune Newspapers Washington Bureau and the Center for Responsive Politics found a revolving door between Capitol Hill staffers and lobbying jobs for companies with a stake in health care legislation. At least 166 former aides from the nine congressional leadership offices and five committees involved in shaping health overhaul legislation -- along with at least 13 former lawmakers -- registered to represent at least 338 health care clients since the beginning of last year, according to the analysis. Their health care clients spent $635 million on lobbying over the past two years, the study shows.
The lawmaker with the greatest number of staff alumni in the health lobby is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). See graph here.

Former Democratic national chairman Howard Dean attracted attention for opposing the Senate bill. Hotline's Reid Wilson reports:
Dean, a physician, is a lifelong advocate of health care reform, and even GOPers agree he is acting out of conviction. But he is also a consultant to McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, a powerhouse DC lobbying firm that represents biotech companies before Congress. Those companies are paying close attention to a key provision in the bill that will seriously impact their bottom lines.