The Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is far from over, and K Street is gearing up for round two. Capitol Counsel signed two new healthcare clients focusing on changes to the healthcare law: The Physician Hospitals of America and the Coalition to Protect Access to Care, the latter of which consists of the California Medical Association and the California Dental Association. The Physician Hospitals of America are pushing back on a provision that would prohibit the expansion of physician-owned hospitals, reports say. Meanwhile, the Coalition to Protect Access to Care is opposed to federal funding cuts to Medicaid.
ANTI-TRUST. A deal between American Airlines and Australia’s Qantas Airways has gained new life in the Trump administration, and Qantas has hired its first outside lobbying firm to ensure the deal — which had been rejected by the Obama administration — goes through. Wiley Rein is now working for Qantas, as it and American Airlines need approval from the Transportation Department to move forward with a so-called joint venture allowing them to coordinate prices and flight schedules. Smaller U.S. carriers, such as Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue, objected to the plan, which has already been approved by regulators in New Zealand and Australia.
CORRUPTION. Andreae & Associates has registered to represent SCL Social, a consulting firm headquartered in the United Kingdom that works on campaigns and elections. The one-month, $60,000 contract says Andreae & Associates will be working with Capitol Hill and the Trump administration and talking about issues of corruption in Romania, finding speaking engagements for the client to talk about those issues and “providing research and notification on efforts in the USG that affect anti-corruption efforts in Romania.”
FOREIGN ELECTIONS. Raila Amolo Odinga, of the Orange Democratic Movement political party in Kenya, hired Vanguard Africa to obtain a series of meetings in Washington “to discuss the importance of the upcoming general elections in Kenya; namely, the need to have a free, fair and transparent electoral process … and a peaceful national atmosphere leading up to, during and after the election takes place.” In three days, the client had meetings with the State Department, the United States Institute of Peace and think tanks including the Atlantic Council and the Institute for State Effectiveness.