Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, looking for help in roping young, healthy people into Obamacare’s exchanges, has gone, hat in hand, to top health care companies. Bloomberg names three of those companies Tuesday — Johnson & Johnson, Ascension Health and Kaiser Permanente.
Bloomberg notes one reason this might be inappropriate: “All three companies are subject to oversight by Sebelius’s agency.”
I’ll add that J&J and Ascension were also supporters and beneficiaries of Obamacare.
Johnson & Johnson is a pharmaceutical giant and a member of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America — the very influential drug lobby that had the best seat at the table in crafting Obamacare. Sebelius was the boss to J&J’s new top lobbyist, Liz Fowler.
Ascension Health is a Catholic charity, but it’s also effectively a hospital and nursing home chain. The company supported Obamacare and its industry lobby, the American Hospital Association, also helped pass Obamacare. Ascension’s lobbyists during the debate included the firm Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, which represented many of the biggest players in that debate.