Daschle Skirted Lobbying Law, Too

The Washington Post has some more details about Daschle's work on health care matters over the past year. Given the new expanded lobbying rules  in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-81, 121 Stat. 735, September 14, 2007) it is hard to see why he isn't also being charged with failing to follow them -- preparing speeches, giving them, offering strategic suggestions are now also considered lobbying. In any event, if what he did is not considered"lobbying" by Obama with respect to his no- lobbyists- in- the- administration- rule (I know, already waived three times), then how pointless is his rule?

According to the article:
In recent months, Daschle has advocated for changes to the U.S. health system that are unpopular with sizable portions of the industry, including some physicians, drugmakers and insurance companies. Daschle has nonetheless prospered from a stream of income from the health sector, including $220,000 in speaking fees in the past two years, according to the ethics filing.

He also has been a trustee of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. For part of the $2 million he received from the law firm Alston & Bird over the past two years, Daschle also reported that he gave "policy advice" to United Health, a conglomerate that sells insurance, helps the government administer Medicaid, advises drug companies and physicians and dispenses prescriptions.


The 12 organizations or companies that paid Daschle speaking fees, ranging from $12,000 to $30,000, included the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and America's Health Insurance Plans, an influential trade group.

The Health Industry Distributors Association, a trade association representing medical product distributors, wrote to Daschle last week to express concerns about proposed Medicare changes and reminded him of the $14,000 speech he delivered at its conference last year.


The rules established by the new law are complex and so it is impossible from the information provided to ascertain whether he violated them in not registering as a lobbyist for the health care industry or some of its components, but tomorrow the Finance Committee ought to take a close look at this along with his obvious tax chiseling.


Clarice Feldman

The Washington Post has some more details about Daschle's work on health care matters over the past year. Given the new expanded lobbying rules  in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-81, 121 Stat. 735, September 14, 2007) it is hard to see why he isn't also being charged with failing to follow them -- preparing speeches, giving them, offering strategic suggestions are now also considered lobbying. In any event, if what he did is not considered"lobbying" by Obama with respect to his no- lobbyists- in- the- administration- rule (I know, already waived three times), then how pointless is his rule?

According to the article:
In recent months, Daschle has advocated for changes to the U.S. health system that are unpopular with sizable portions of the industry, including some physicians, drugmakers and insurance companies. Daschle has nonetheless prospered from a stream of income from the health sector, including $220,000 in speaking fees in the past two years, according to the ethics filing.

He also has been a trustee of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. For part of the $2 million he received from the law firm Alston & Bird over the past two years, Daschle also reported that he gave "policy advice" to United Health, a conglomerate that sells insurance, helps the government administer Medicaid, advises drug companies and physicians and dispenses prescriptions.


The 12 organizations or companies that paid Daschle speaking fees, ranging from $12,000 to $30,000, included the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and America's Health Insurance Plans, an influential trade group.

The Health Industry Distributors Association, a trade association representing medical product distributors, wrote to Daschle last week to express concerns about proposed Medicare changes and reminded him of the $14,000 speech he delivered at its conference last year.


The rules established by the new law are complex and so it is impossible from the information provided to ascertain whether he violated them in not registering as a lobbyist for the health care industry or some of its components, but tomorrow the Finance Committee ought to take a close look at this along with his obvious tax chiseling.


Clarice Feldman