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December 05, 2012

Liz Fowler Is the Embodiment of Washington’s Revolving Door Problem

Posted in: Broken Government

Liz Fowler with Sen. Max Baucus.

If you had to pick someone on the Democratic side to be the poster child for the revolving door problem, it would be hard to find someone better than Elizabeth Fowler.

She worked for the Senate Finance Committee back in 2003 when it helped write the Medicare prescription drug program. The program helped needlessly enrich private insurance companies by requiring the government use them as completely useless middlemen. Her reward was getting a very high paying job at Wellpoint, one of the insurance companies that so needlessly benefited by the law she worked.

Fowler then returned through the revolving to work for Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) while he crafted the Affordable Care Act. Baucus made sure the health care law stuck to the deal President Obama made with the Pharmaceutical lobby. In exchange for the industry supporting the new law, Democrats agreed to break their promise to implement drug re-importation and direct Medicare drug price negotiation. This deal protected billions of government waste that went to the drug companies. Fowler left Baucus’s office to briefly work for the Department of Health and Human Services on implementing the law. Now, less than a year before the law will be implemented, Politico is reporting that Fowler has taken a high paying job at Johnson & Johnson’s, one of the drug companies helped significantly by the law she worked on.

Fowler has not once, but twice, worked on an important piece of legislation only to soon after take a top job at one of the companies that most significantly benefited from the laws she helped write. There are few people for whom the revolving door has spun more quickly and powerfully.


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