IT STANDS TO REASON that the most comprehensive healthcare reform in nearly 50 years comes with a lot of fine print and red tape. What lobbyists and lobbying firms are discovering is that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also generates a lot of revenue.
The Hill reports that big lobbying firms are clamoring for Obamacare veterans. Many of K Street’s largest firms, including Akin Gump, Alston & Bird, and The Glover Park Group now have someone who was involved in the creation of ACA on their rosters, as do the lobbying wings of a number of major corporations.
Why are Obamacare insiders such a hot commodity? A law with the size and scope of ACA is subject to incredibly complex regulations and fine print, so having someone on staff who can explain that to clients is invaluable to firms. Additionally, much of the law is being implemented by the agencies, which are not subject to the same level of transparency as Congress. From The Hill:
“Congress is easy to watch,” said Tim LaPira, a politics professor at James Madison University who researches the government affairs industry, “but agencies are harder to watch because their actions are often opaque.”
This is why, as The Hill notes, veterans of the Department of Health and Human Services are among the highest-paid Obamacare specialists.
But the industry experts aren’t the only ones reaping benefits from knowing the ins and outs of the act. Law firms are also yielding gains by attracting clients from the multitude of industries that will be impacted by the law’s provisions. Although lobbying revenues have been on the decline in 2013, the influx of ACA specialists should help things improve.
Because the implementation of ACA is staggered, with some provisions going into effect immediately while others trigger in 2014 and beyond, it seems clear that ACA insiders will continue to enjoy a high demand for their services. Whether they’ll be needed in three, four, ten years hence is more dubious.