09 Sep


The Little Sis Blog reports that a former lobbyist for the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries now heads the Senate Finance Committee’s tax department.

Cathy Koch — who’s now in charge of the finance committee’s tax department — was the director of global government affairs at pharmaceutical company Amegen until her departure in 2007. Prior to that, she worked as a lobbyist for pharmaceutical and insurance companies, representing Aetna, Blue Cross, Eli Lilli and Pfizer.

The Senate Finance Committee’s tax department plays a central role in the move to reform health care, according to Little Sis.

Tax incentives and calculations are central to health care reform plan that Baucus sent to members of the Gang of Six this weekend, including a penalty on health insurance companies offering expensive plans. The “Cadillac” plan tax has received significant media attention as a particularly important and controversial feature that targets insurance companies.

Koch also worked for the Health Benefits Coalition, an insurance industry special interest group, from 2001 to 2004. The group successfully fought the late Sen. Ed Kennedy’s push for a Patients’ Bill of Rights

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