Washington Babylon — October 21, 2009, 9:58 am

They’re Back: Hill veterans back to lobby for drugmakers

From ProPublica:

Four years ago, a group of lawmakers and aides crafted Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program for seniors that has produced billions of dollars of profits for pharmaceutical companies.

Today, at least 25 of those key players are back, but this time they’re lobbyists, trying to persuade their former colleagues to protect the lucrative system during the health care reform negotiations.

The role of big players like Billy Tauzin — the former Republican representative from Louisiana who is now president of PhRMA, the drug industry’s lobbying group — has been long understood. But a ProPublica analysis shows that the drug industry’s position is also being promoted by other foot soldiers from the Part D legislative process, from committee aides to top Bush administration officials.

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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