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View Diary: Foul Play in the Senate (222 comments)

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  •  what! and bump off the front pages the latest (8+ / 0-)

    stupid thing said by a prominent stupid person ? Did you hear the latest about Michelle Bachmann, she said...., and Boehner said..., grab them pearls!

    Yes during ACA where Liz Fowler of Wellpoint  (taking a break to come and 'help') wrote the freakin' Bill (as Baucus praised her on the Senate Floor) and it is all to the benefit of private corporations that have nothing to do with medical care other than charge people to access it and to profit from denying it.

    The Max Baucus WellPoint/Liz Fowler Plan

    By: emptywheel
     Tuesday September 8, 2009

    All this time I’ve been calling Max Tax health care Max Baucus’ health care plan.

    But, as William Ockham points out, it’s actually Liz Fowler’s health care plan (if you open the document and look under document properties, it lists her as author). At one level, it’s not surprising that Bad Max’s Senior Counsel would have authored the Max Tax plan. Here’s how Politico described her role in Bad Max’s health care plan earlier this year:

    If you drew an organizational chart of major players in the Senate health care negotiations, Fowler would be the chief operating officer.

    As a senior aide to Baucus, she directs the Finance Committee health care staff, enforces deadlines on drafting bill language and coordinates with the White House and other lawmakers. She also troubleshoots, identifying policy and political problems before they ripen.

    “My job is to get from point A to point B,” said Fowler, who’s training for four triathlons this summer in between her long days on Capitol Hill.

    She first worked for Baucus from 2001 through 2005, playing a key role in negotiating the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Feeling burned out, she left for the private sector but rejoined Baucus in 2008, sensing that a Democratic-controlled Congress would make progress on overhauling the health care system.

    Baucus and Fowler spent a year putting the senator in a position to pursue reform, including holding hearings last summer and issuing a white paper in November. They deliberately avoided releasing legislation in order to send a signal of openness and avoid early attacks.

    “People know when Liz is speaking, she is speaking for Baucus,” said Dean Rosen, the health policy adviser to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.).

    (emphasis mine)
    In fact, key provisions in the Baucus plan apparently draw on industry-inspired legislation first introduced by Enzi in 2006, while Northrup was still his chief health aide.

    Consumer Watchdog first called attention to the similarities, particularly with respect to a part of the plan that would help insurance companies avoid state regulation:
    The plan would result in a “race to the bottom” in health care regulation by allowing insurance companies that participate in “health care compacts” to choose the weakest state law to govern all their policies, regardless of which state the policies are sold in. Currently, insurance companies must abide by the state laws of any state where they sell insurance. The Baucus plan resembles an industry proposal carried by Mike Enzi (R-WY) in 2006 discussed below.

    So this bill really did get written by insurance industry VPs — past and present. Liz Fowler, the current Baucus staffer who wrote the plan, was a Wellpoint executive last year. And Northrup, the former Enzi staffer who wrote the original iteration of this bill, is now on the Wellpoint payroll.

    Northrup, who is on the growing LittleSis list of Congressional staffers-turned-healthcare lobbyists, was Enzi’s chief health aide from 2003 to 2006. He joined Wellpoint as vice president of federal affairs in Washington in 2007, and is “responsible for leading WellPoint’s advocacy efforts before Congress and various federal government agencies,” according to Modern Healthcare.

    Northrup had been through the revolving door before, joining Enzi’s staff after serving as executive director of the Long Term Care Pharmacy Alliance — just in time to help craft Part D, the Medicare reform widely considered a giveaway to pharmaceutical interests.

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:45:00 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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