The Revolving Healthcare Door

Let’s not pretend that we’re surprised:

When the legislation that became known as “Obamacare” was first drafted, the key legislator was the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, whose committee took the lead in drafting the legislation. As Baucus himself repeatedly boasted, the architect of that legislation was Elizabeth Folwer, his chief health policy counsel; indeed, as Marcy Wheeler discovered, it was Fowler who actually drafted it. As Politico put it at the time: “If you drew an organizational chart of major players in the Senate health care negotiations, Fowler would be the chief operating officer.”

What was most amazing about all of that was that, before joining Baucus’ office as the point person for the health care bill, Fowler was the Vice President for Public Policy and External Affairs (i.e. informal lobbying) at WellPoint, the nation’s largest health insurance provider (before going to WellPoint, as well as after, Folwer had worked as Baucus’ top health care aide). And when that health care bill was drafted, the person whom Fowler replaced as chief health counsel in Baucus’ office, Michelle Easton, was lobbying for WellPoint as a principal at Tarplin, Downs, and Young.

Now, as Politico’s “Influence” column briefly noted on Tuesday, Fowler is once again passing through the deeply corrupting revolving door as she leaves the Obama administration to return to the loving and lucrative arms of the private health care industry:

As I said in my election post: had Obamacare been proposed by John McCain or Mitt Romney, the Left would have suddenly realized that the healthcare industry was lining up to support it. They would have noticed what a huge payout it was to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. They would have denounced it as corporate welfare. Some principled liberals, like Greenwald, did (albeit mainly because they want single payer). But most turned away or absurdly accused the opposition as being an astroturf industry-funded campaign.

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  1. Hal_10000 *

    Even more ridiculous: they’re denouncing Walmart because so any of its employees get Medicaid ignoring that their own policies expanded Medicaid to cover working people.

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