David Bowen “was instrumental in shepherding President Obama’s landmark health care bill through the Senate as staff director for health of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) under Chairman Sen. Ted Kennedy,” says Hill & Knowlton, the PR shop that is also a lobbying shop.
H+K announced Monday that it hired Bowen to run the firm’s health care practice.
I thought this comment in the announcement was interesting:
“The changes confronting the health care industry are unprecedented, from an increase in worldwide demand for medical services, to skyrocketing costs, to increased regulation and wavering public trust,” said H+K Strategies Global Chairman and CEO Jack Martin.
Of course, Bowen, in helping craft Obamacare, helped create the “increased regulation” and other changes that will make companies need H+K’s services.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about a talk Bowen gave on K Street shortly after the bill passed and he left Capitol Hill:
“In Mass., there was a very conscious decision to do coverage first, knowing that that would bring on a cost battle second,” the former Ted Kennedy aide explained. “We certainly made the same decision. This is a coverage bill, not a cost reduction bill. There is stuff here that will begin to address the issue of cost, but this is not a cost reduction bill with a bit of coverage on it — it is really trying to get coverage first.”
Bowen responded in a letter:
It is no secret that the goal of seeing that every American family could get quality, affordable health care was a driving force of his career for decades.
The Affordable Care Act achieves that historic goal, while reducing costs, improving quality, and helping create jobs. And that’s a quote of mine you are welcome to use in any context.
UPDATE: Hill + Knowlton is running the campaign for insurers and health providers trying to enroll people in Obamacare’s exchanges.