Saturday, November 07, 2009

Two members of an inner circle of arrogant power: Lobbyists

for the drug and insurance companies are profiled in NYT.

As perhaps the two most powerful health industry lobbyists in Washington, the two of them, Billy Tauzin and Karen Ignagni, are the odd couple of the capital’s health care debate. Their paths are as opposite as their personalities.

Mr. Tauzin, a Democrat turned Republican, is the chief lobbyist for drug makers. After cutting an $80 billion, 10-year deal for his industry — blessed by the White House — to help pay for a health care overhaul, he is now working quietly to keep his pact from unraveling on Capitol Hill.

Ms. Ignagni, a Democrat who represents insurers, stood up at the White House in March and told President Obama he had her “commitment to play, to contribute and to help pass health care reform this year.”