Wealthy K Street firm on ObamaCare: ‘Some Say Waterloo; We Say Success’ 

When the House and Senate passed the health-care bill, were they “standing up to the special interests,” as Obama declared? Has Obama worked to “end the outsized influence of lobbyists,” as he bragged in his State of the Union?

Not according to a recent letter from K Street powerhouse Raben Group:

Some Say Waterloo; We Say Success: The Raben Group’s Clients and Health Care and Education Reform

As the Obama Administration prepares to implement the most comprehensive health care reform measures since the creation of Medicare, many others also have cause to celebrate this singular achievement.  We’re excited to share with you some terrific success stories from our valued family of clients.

My favorite is probably their work for Amgen, the biotechnolgy giant that makes EPO, a bloodthinner. Thanks to the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” EPO, classified as a biologic drug, will be protected from competition from generic versions for 12 years, as opposed to 5 years like regular drugs, or 7 years like AARP wanted.

Raben’s lobbying income nearly doubled last year, to $5.4 million.

Robert Raben, who heads the firm, worked for Barney Frank and Janet Reno. How important was health-care “reform’s” passage to the Raben Group and its clients? Raben and his lobbying partner Licy Do Canto were official sponsors of Martha Coakley’s D.C. fundraiser in January. Amgen’s PAC gave $5,000 to Coakley’s campaign as did Raben lobbyist Lawrence Gonzales.

We can have real arguments about whether this bill is good for the country or bad. But the Obama claims that it was a blow to the special interests? That has no grounding in fact.

The NRCC has this to say:

The Raben Group is a veritable cornucopia of former staffers for Democrats and liberal causes. The lobbyists at the firm include alumni of: the Democratic National Committee, the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign, the Clinton administration, the 2000 Gore campaign, Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Xavier Beccera (D-CA), Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA), the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, the Nevada State Senate Democratic Caucus, the National Education Association, NOW, People for the American Way and Planned Parenthood

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Timothy P. Carney

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