Share

Opinion

The drug lobby vs. Hobby Lobby: Pharma lobbyists and the contraception mandate

By |
Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Timothy P. Carney,Abortion,Lobbying,Pharmaceutical Industry,Contraception,Hobby Lobby

If you could get friendly bureaucrats to make your product a mandatory form of compensation, wouldn't you?

So it's no surprise the manufacturers and sellers of sterilization and contraception have lobbied on the Obama administration's contraception mandate, backed the Obamacare law Obama uses to justify the mandate, and fought for Obama's election and re-election.

The pharmaceutical industry has kept a low profile in this fight, but here are some of the drug lobbyists and executives with their fingerprints on the mandate:

Mimi Mager & Karin Bolte, Conceptus. Conceptus, a company that sells a sterilization procedure, retained revolving-door Democratic lobbyists Mimi Mager and Karin Bolte to lobby the Department of Health and Human Services and the Senate on "Implementation of the preventive services provisions of the Affordable Care Act."

HHS issued the contraception mandate under the preventive services provisions, and this mandate covers Conceptus. It's nice if you can get someone else besides your customer to pay for what you're selling.

Mark Raabe is a longtime Democratic staffer, who served both on Capitol Hill and in Democratic administrations. He's also given about $50,000 to Democratic candidates (including Obama) over the years.

Raabe is also a longtime lobbyist for Merck, and in early 2010 -- the heady days in which Obamacare passed -- Raabe lobbied Congress and the White House on "preventive services." Merck sells many types of preventive services, including vaccinations, but it also sells contraceptive implants, which employers are now forced to cover.

Sally Susman runs the lobbying shop at drug giant Pfizer. Susman was a top Obama bundler, raising more than $600,000 for his re-election. Pfizer sells $7.6 million a year in name-brand birth control pills. On top of that, Pfizer sells contraceptive injections and generic birth control pills.

Jeffrey Kindler was Pfizer's CEO during the Obamacare debate. He supported the bill, and in a corporate filing, the company actually cited his lobbying on Obamacare to justify a small pay hike in 2010.

View article comments Leave a comment