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Heard on the Hill: Hypothetical HHS Horrors

No pain, no legislative gain … or at least that’s what one former staffer told the National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday.

In the meeting, Mark Hayes, former chief health counsel for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on the Finance Committee staff and one of the top negotiators during the epic health care overhaul battle, was asked whether lawmakers and their staffs consider who will be enforcing the legislation that they are working for or, in Hayes’ case, working against.

According to Hayes, the Finance Committee staff definitely had a hypothetical motivating enforcer.

“The test was to imagine the scariest person we could think of as [Health and Human Services] secretary. That was Henry Waxman for us,” he told the group, referring to the California Democratic lawmaker.

According to Hayes, the staffers would ask themselves with a shudder, “What if [Waxman] was enforcing this provision?”

Hayes, now an attorney with Greenberg Traurig, tells HOH that both sides had their motivating HHS secretary.

We can only assume with Kathleen Sebelius the Dems got theirs.