A December 5, 2012 article in The Guardian, titled Obamacare architect leaves White House for pharmaceutical industry job, summarizes the conflicts-of-interest that created the Affordable Care Act (ACA). No wonder the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries are the true beneficiaries of this law. Meanwhile health care costs continue to skyrocket.
“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 Fowler, his chief health policy counsel; indeed… it was Fowler who actually drafted it.”
“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.”
“When the Obama White House needed someone to oversee implementation of Obamacare after the bill passed, it chose . . . Liz Fowler. That the White House would put a former health insurance industry executive in charge of implementation of its new massive health care law was roundly condemned by good government groups as at least a violation of the ‘spirit’ of governing ethics rules…”
“Now, as Politico’s “Influence” column briefly noted on Tuesday… ‘Elizabeth Fowler is leaving the White House for a senior-level position leading ‘global health policy’ at Johnson & Johnson’s government affairs and policy group.’”
“The pharmaceutical giant that just hired Fowler actively supported the passage of Obamacare through its membership in the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobby.”
See also NPR Fresh Air episode February 23, 2021, What Does The ‘War’ Over Obamacare Reveal About Our Governing Bodies? (37 minutes). “In his new book, The Ten Year War: Obamacare And The Unfinished Crusade For Universal Coverage, Jonathan Cohn looks at the intense debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act, the compromises of the law itself, and the ongoing fight for universal health care.”