Tom Carper's old chief of staff now a lobbyist for nation's largest health insurer

Now that health-care reform has moved to the Senate, Senator Tom Carper is one of the central players: he sits on the Finance Committee's subcommittee for health, and he has positioned himself as a dealmaker on the government option in health insurance, which is the most contentious item in the whole reform package, and the item that poses the most threat to insurers.

That may be why WellPoint, the nation's largest health insurer, has retained Carper's former chief of staff to lobby on health-care reform. Jonathon Jones became Carper's chief of staff just a few weeks after Carper came to Washington in 2001, and served in that role until the end of 2006. With his boss reelected, and now serving in the majority party, Jones cashed out and went to work at the K Street firm Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart.

In early 2009, Jones became a partner, and the firm changed its name to Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart.

Then, on September 25, insurer WellPoint hired Jones' firm to lobby in the issue areas of health care, insurance, and Medicare/Medicaid, according to the lobbying registration filed last week, which lists the anticipated “specific lobbying issues” as “Healthcare reform legislation, specifically proposals affecting health insurance providers.”

Jones' other health-sector clients include drugmakers Astra-Zeneca and Amgen, the trade groups Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America and the Biotechnology Industry Organization, as well as the American Insurance Association.

In his brief 22 months as a lobbyist, Jones has given $46,800 to Democrats, including White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Jones has also given to Majority Leader Harry Reid, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, health-care waffler Evan Bayh, as well as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

His clients in both insurance and drugs stand to profit handsomely from health-care reform's mandates and subsidies, as long as there is no robust government option.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Sen. Kamala Harris chosen as Joe Biden’s running mate

Joe Biden has chosen Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running… Continue reading

Supervisors fear Tenderloin lawsuit settlement sets bad precedent

UC Hastings case pushed city to move more homeless residents into hotels or shelters

UCSF police seek suspect in killing at Inner Sunset campus

UC San Francisco police are investigating the death of a person who… Continue reading

Mayor Breed unveils $446.1 milion COVID-19 budget proposal

Mayor London Breed unveiled the budget proposal Tuesday for The City’s COVID-19… Continue reading

‘Street Crisis Response Team’ to respond to behavioral health calls

San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Tuesday announced the creation of a… Continue reading

Most Read