In our current jobless recovery, news of an industry beating the odds and achieving financial success ought to be refreshing. Unfortunately, among those prospering the most in the current economy are the former government insiders who helped draft Obamacare and are now cashing in on its complexity.
Businesses leaders suffer sleepless nights, worrying how much the health care takeover is going to cost them. They're anxious enough to hand over a princely sum to anyone capable of deciphering the 10,000 pages of rules and regulations that will have a substantial impact on the success or failure of their enterprise.
As the Hill reported, nearly three-dozen of the former government officials who worked to enact the health care law have placed "open for business" signs on K Street since 2010. They're now lobbying on behalf of big corporations seeking to mitigate the damage the health law is causing to the economy.
The revolving door is spinning fast, something candidate Obama promised was never going to happen on his watch. While campaigning in 2007, he told a group in Manchester, N.H., that he was going to "close the revolving door that has allowed people to use their administration job as a stepping stone to further their lobbying careers." He reiterated the point later in the same speech. "When I am president," said Mr. Obama, "I will make it absolutely clear that working in an Obama administration is not about serving your former employer, your future employer or your bank account. It's about serving your country, and that's what comes first." Then came Obamacare.
After taking the oath of office, the president quickly jettisoned his commitment and worked hand-in-hand with some of the most powerful entrenched interests in Washington to come up with Obamacare and ram it through the legislative process. Long-forgotten White House memos released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last year detailed how the Obama administration coordinated a $150 million television advertising campaign with the pharmaceutical industry to support the federal health care takeover. The man who campaigned on allowing re-importation of drugs from Canada and other countries fell silent on the issue once the drug industry's monetary spigot was opened, and the TV ads from Washington-created front groups began to air.
Now that the law in poised to take effect, corporations like UPS, Delta Airlines and Coca Cola are gobbling up Democratic staffers as a means to limit Obamacare's impact on their bottom line.
There's a lot of talk about lobbying reform, and usually it comes in the form of proposals to trample on First Amendment rights and restrict campaign donations. That's not going to work. True lobbying reform is impossible until efforts are made to limit the size and scope of Washington, which would, in turn, cut the demand for insiders with special access. Unfortunately for the American people, the White House's insistence on an ever-growing government has fostered a modern gold rush for K Street prospectors who rely on government for their success — at the expense of everyone else.