Ex-Sen. Ben Nelson cashes in on his Obamacare vote [Examiner, The (Wash., DC)]
|By Timothy P. Carney; Timothy P. Carney, Examiner Senior Political Columnist|
Nelson's trip through the revolving door demonstrates an important truth about
Nelson represented the conservative state of
Agenda Global is a new, self-described public affairs and advocacy firm headquartered on
Last week, Agenda announced it was hiring Nelson and former
"Both are recognized for leadership on agriculture and biotech matters," the firm boasted on its announcement. How did Nelson "lead" on ag and biotech? Mostly by pushing federal subsidies.
Nelson firmly backed the federal ethanol mandate, which effectively forces drivers to buy ethanol. Last year the
In Obamacare, Nelson also showed "leadership" on biotech. For one thing, when the biotech lobby supported the bill (with all its profitable subsidies and mandates) and the people of
More specifically, Nelson helped stick a special favor for biotech into the legislation: He was among a dozen lawmakers who specifically pushed for 12 years of exclusivity (that is, generics are banned) for name-brand biotech drugs. Regular name-brand drugs get five years before generics are allowed.
Today, Agenda wants as clients the biotech and ag companies that benefitted from Nelson's policies. And now, thanks in part to Nelson, biotech and agribusiness firms are more dependent on government's good favor than before.
Pattee says he hopes Nelson will bring in biotech clients but adds that Nelson "doesn't have any interest in lobbying his former colleagues on issues like biotech." And Pattee paints his own aspirations in the ag sector not as corporate lobbying but as grassroots mobilization, or "getting farmers off the couch."
The NAIC is not an industry lobby. It is the trade group and lobbying association for state insurance regulators.
Obamacare mentions the NAIC 18 times. Again and again, the law requires the secretary of health and human services to consult the NAIC in developing federal health insurance standards. Some provisions of the law basically delegate regulatory power to the NAIC.
So you see how the NAIC benefits from having
There's nothing extraordinary about
Nelson's industry work at Agenda is not lobbying, by its precise definition. His work at a lobby group (the NAIC) is not for an industry. But Nelson is still profiting from government's increased role in the economy -- which is what he voted for.
|Copyright:||(c) 2013 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.|