About a month before the Arizona lawmaker changed her party affiliation from Democrat to independent, the chief of staff for Senator Kyrsten Sinema left to join the lobbying firm Tarplin, Downs & Young, LLC.
Meg Joseph, who was Sinema’s top staffer while she was in the US House of Representatives and all through her time in the Senate, joined the lobbying firm run by three Republican women who had been top GOP health policy advisors.
Linda Tarplin started as an assistant to Congressman Bill Frenzel in the House of Representatives before moving to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during the Reagan administration, and then leading the administration’s legislative health care agenda in the White House under President George H.W. Bush.
Rai Downs spent nearly a decade on Capitol Hill in senior staff positions, including time as an advisor to Senator Mike Enzi and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Jennifer Young served as the assistant secretary for legislation at the Department of Health and Human Services before cofounding Tarplin, Downs & Young, LLC in January 2006.
“Meg Joseph joined the lobbying firm owned by Republicans who barred Medicare from negotiating for better drug prices and hijacked the federal health insurance program on behalf of private companies that put profits before people,” said New Jersey progressive activist Lisa McCormick, who predicted that big pharma money and insurance company cash will keep flowing to the Arizona independent.
“I won’t be surprised if Senator Sinema sponsors some truly diabolical legislation to undermine the Affordable Care Act, bankrupt Medicare or subject Medicaid to some sort of mercy killing,” said McCormick.