Thursday, October 22, 2009

Former Members of Congress Lobbying on Healthcare

Six years ago, a group of lawmakers and aides crafted Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program for seniors that has produced billions of dollars of profits for pharmaceutical companies.

Today, at least 25 of those key players are back, but this time they’re lobbyists, trying to persuade their former colleagues to protect the lucrative system during the health care reform negotiations.

The role of big players like Billy Tauzin — the former Republican representative from Louisiana who is now president of PhRMA, the drug industry’s lobbying group — has been long understood. But a ProPublica analysis shows that the drug industry’s position is also being promoted by other foot soldiers from the Part D legislative process, from committee aides to top Bush administration officials.