Revolving Door

How Lobbyists Pushed Health Care

At least 166 former congressional staffers now working as health-industry lobbyists got their old bosses to give their new bosses big breaks in the pending health-care reform legislation, according to a new report. For example, David Nexon, a former aide to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), amassed 14 lobbyists with similar résumés to attack a tax in the bill aimed at one of his clients, a medical-device trade association. They succeeded in cutting the $40 billion tax in half in the current legislation, according to a report by Northwestern University’s Medill News Service, the Center for Responsive Politics, and the Tribune Newspapers' Washington Bureau. In addition to the former aides, at least 13 former lawmakers are registered to represent a total of 338 health-care clients since the beginning of last year. Since then, those clients spent $635 million lobbying.