The website for the group describes itself as a “grassroots” uprising to “ensure a new era of American greatness.” But an examination of the group’s backers reveals more of the same: health care industry consultants using a front group with a lofty name to accomplish a corporate lobbying goal.
Kaiser Health News reports that the team behind the Partnership for America includes former Republican bureaucrats-turned-industry lobbyists Bob Wood, James Capretta, James Wootton and Chuck Cooper. The leadership biography page on the Partnership for America website lists the men involved, but makes significant omissions about their current lobbying clients that stand to benefit from the group’s irresponsible repeal campaign:
– Partnership for America leader Bob Wood is a lobbyist whose portfolio of clients include Eli Lilly, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (better known simply as PhRMA, a lobbying association for drugmakers), Select Medical, and XL Health Corp, a Medicare Advantage provider.
– Partnership for America leader James Capretta is no longer a registered lobbyist, but is currently listed as a “Principle” at a government affairs firm that represents health insurers like CIGNA, UnitedHealth, and America’s Health Insurance Plans (a trade association for the entire health insurance industry).
Other Partnership for America leaders, like James Wootton and Chuck Cooper, have a history of working for health care industry-related interests. Wootton was a former lobbyist for and an official at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a trade association with a sordid past of secretly funneling health insurance cash into far right anti-patient and anti-health reform causes. Cooper is an attorney at a law/lobbying firm with an active health care practice that has counted PhRMA as a client in the past.
Fronts like the Partnership for America thrive when media outlets report on them as bonafide citizens groups. It doesn’t appear that there is anything authentic about the organization. Even the office location listed for the group is actually an anonymous mailbox/corporate conference room service two blocks from K Street.