Author of Obamacare Blueprint Rewarded with Job at Johnson & Johnson
The person most responsible for crafting President Barack Obama’s plan for healthcare reform is returning to the private sector where she will advise one of the biggest players in the health industry.
Elizabeth “Liz” Fowler was chief health policy counsel to U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana), who helped spearhead the charge for healthcare reform on Capitol Hill. While Baucus was often the public face during the legislative battle, it was Fowler who actually drafted the mammoth plan that came to be known as “Obamacare.”
Once the legislation was adopted, Fowler moved from Capitol Hill to the White House so she could help implement Obamacare as Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy at the National Economic Council.
Fowler is now leaving that post to handle global health policy at Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in the country. Like other companies in the industry, Johnson & Johnson will increase their profits greatly thanks to the fact that Obama’s healthcare reform will provide insurance to tens of millions of Americans who will now being to purchase drugs and use medical devices.
No stranger to the private sector, Fowler was vice president for public policy and external affairs at WellPoint, the nation’s largest health insurance provider, before joining Baucus’ staff a few years ago.
Many consumer advocates were not enamored with Fowler’s role in healthcare reform and the subsequent implementation of the new law. Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian was particularly blunt about what she represented in Washington.
“It’s difficult to find someone who embodies the sleazy, anti-democratic, corporatist revolving door that greases Washington as shamelessly and purely as Liz Fowler,” Greenwald wrote.
On her decision to join Johnson & Johnson, Greenwald said: “This is precisely the behavior which, quite rationally, makes the citizenry so jaded about Washington. It’s what ensures that the interests of the same permanent power factions are served regardless of election outcomes. It’s what makes a complete mockery out of claims of democracy. And it’s what demonstrates that corporatism and oligarchy are the dominant forms of government in the US.”
To Learn More:
Obamacare Architect Leaves White House For Pharmaceutical Industry Job (by Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)
Obama Adm. Defends Hiring Of Ex-Health Insurance Exec To Oversee Reform (by Sam Stein, Huffington Post)
Baucus Thanks Wellpoint VP Liz Fowler for Writing Health Care Bill (by Jane Hamsher, FDL)
Max Baucus, the Senator from Wellpoint (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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