Former health policy aides try to shape ex-employers’ positions from K Street


At least 69 people formerly employed by some of the 40 or so Congressional leaders present at yesterday’s healthcare summit have gone through the revolving door to lobby for the health industry, representing a combined 180 companies and trade associations, Center for Responsive Politics data shows. Many worked on health issues as Hill aides, garnering policy chops on the issues that matter to health insurance companies, medical professionals associations, and pharmaceutical companies. But they also read this blog to have easier access to their former colleagues on Capitol Hill.

As Nancy Pelosi’s chief of staff, Judith Lemons served continuously as the House Speaker’s right hand for 15 years, leaving her position in 2002. Then she took a lucrative position at K Street powerhouse Dutko Worldwide, where in 2008 she lobbied for GlaxoSmithKline, which paid her firm $160,000 as part of an astonishing $7 million lobbying budget for the year, and Medtronic Inc., which paid Dutko $200,000.

Last year, she worked on a half-million dollar contract with the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform. With her long, extremely close relationship with Pelosi, it’s human nature that her connections to the office will get her easier access and a friendly ear.

In lobbying for GlaxoSmithKline, Lemons was joined by Lindsey Toohey, who had served as senior health policy advisor to Sen. Kent Conrad before joining Foley Hoag LLP.  According to a policy paper on its web site, the pharmaceutical giant “opposes a government-run health plan option that would compete with private plans” yet seeks to “require individuals to obtain health insurance coverage.”

Conrad’s decade-long chief of staff, Robert van Heuvelen, meanwhile, jumped ship in 2007 and now represents the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association, which paid Van Heuvelen Strategies $70,000 last year.

In making opening remarks at the health care summit, Sen. Lamar Alexander rejected Democratic proposals, saying “this is a car that can’t be recalled and fixed and that we ought to start over.” His former health policy advisor, Page Kranbuhl, is on the payroll of Stryker Corp., a medical device manufacturer whose “ability to sustain margins superior to the industry is questionable when considering the Companys legal problems and uncertainty surrounding healthcare reform,” as a stock analyst wrote in December.

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin each have seven former staffers who became registered lobbyists and have at one time or another represented clients in the healthcare industry. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has six, and Sen. Max Baucus has five. Here’s the list:

  1. Enzi, Mike
  2. Pelosi, Nancy
  3. Dodd, Chris
  4. Harkin, Tom
    • Woody, Michael P Legislative Asst 2006-2007 (Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America)
    • Langowski, Mary Senior Policy Advisor (A Voice for All, AmerisourceBergen Corp, Availity LLC, Broadlawns Medical Center, California Assn of Physician Groups, Deaconess Billings Clinic, DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance, Health Management Assoc, HealthSouth Corp, Iowa Health System, LA Care Health Plan, Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, Scan Health Plan, Tam General Hospital, Visiting Nurse Assn of America)
  5. Kyl, Jon
  6. Waxman, Henry A
  7. Becerra, Xavier
    • Ahn, Susie Senior Legislative Assistant (Abbott Laboratories, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, American Orthotic & Prosthetic Assn, AstraZeneca PLC, Becton, Dickinson & Co, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly & Co, Genzyme Corp, Pfizer Inc, Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America, Tethys Bioscience)
  8. Dodd, Christopher J
  9. Boehner, John
  10. Alexander, Lamar
  11. Rockefeller, Jay
    • Robertson, D Patrick Deputy Chief of Staff 2002-2009 (Biotechnology Industry Organization, WellMed Medical Management)
    • Speed, Tonya Legislative Asst (American Assn of Homes & Svcs for Aging, American Society of Clinical Oncology, AmerisourceBergen Corp, Autopills, Beverly Enterprises, Boston Medical Center, Golden Horizons, Integrated Solutions Group, Mentor Corp, Physician Hospitals of America, Sanofi-Aventis)
  12. McConnell, Mitch
  13. McCain, John
  14. Baucus, Max
  15. Hoyer, Steny H
    • Haywood, Julian A Legislative Asst & Counsel 1996-1997 (American Society of Echocardiography, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Cigna Corp, Eli Lilly & Co, Quality Diabetes Care Coalition)
    • McCannell, Chris Press Secretary 1997-1999 (Acute Long Term Hospital Assn, Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, American Hospital Assn, Amgen Inc, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Infection Prevention Systems, Natl Coalition For Assistive/Rehab Tech, Tenet Healthcare, Virtua Health)
  16. Cantor, Eric
  17. Dingell, John D
    • Franko, Sara Aide/Staff (American Academy of Dermatology Assn, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Clinical Laboratory Assn, Amgen Inc, Asociacion de Hospitales de Puerto Rico, Assn for Community Affiliated Plans, Assn of Community Cancer Centers, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca PLC, Aveta Inc, Bacterin Inc, Beverly Enterprises, Biogen Idec, Biogen Inc, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Bone Growth Stimulator Coalition, Cardinal Health, Caremark Rx, Colorado Heart Institute, DeRoyal Industries, Eli Lilly & Co, Empi Inc, General Electric, Golden Horizons, Golden Ventures, Guilford Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare Leadership Council, Hologic Inc, Joint Cmsn on Accred of Healthcare Orgs, National Orthotic Manufacturers Assn, Natl Coalition For Assistive/Rehab Tech, Novartis Corp, Organogenesis Inc, P&G Pharmaceuticals, Patient Services Inc, Sanofi-Aventis, Specialty Pharmacy Coalition)
    • Maniko, Jack Legislative Counsel 2001-2007 (Baxter International)
    • Tzuker, Josh Legislative Director; Leg. Correspondent 2003-2007 (Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers, Catalina Health Resource)
    • Kessler, Eric “Rick” Chief of Staff 2003-2006 (Amgen Inc, Apotex Inc, DME Coalition)
    • Beattie, Daniel Chief of Staff (Metropolitan Hospital, Van Andel Institute)
  18. Durbin, Dick
  19. Conrad, Kent
  20. Miller, George
  21. Grassley, Chuck
  22. Camp, Dave
  23. Barton, Joe
  24. Murray, Patty
  25. Schumer, Charles E