EXCLUSIVE: Western Free Press investigates Matt Salmon Obamacare claim

| August 22 2012
Hannah Thoreson

The Matt Salmon campaign is currently distributing an email attempting to discredit the claim that he lobbied for Obamacare.  Western Free Press conducted an investigation to learn more about the connection between Matt Salmon’s firm and prescription drug companies.  We went straight to the source, contacting one of his firm’s clients about the health care law.

The email from Salmon’s campaign says the following:

1) Matt Salmon has NEVER lobbied for the passage of ObamaCare, the expansion of ObamaCare, or supported ObamaCare in any way, shape or form.
2) Matt Salmon has NEVER lobbied for or against any legislation pertaining to ObamaCare.
3) Matt Salmon’s former business partner, John Haddow, was the consultant who represented Lundbeck and Millennium pharmaceutical companies
4) John Haddow actually lobbied AGAINST ObamaCare, NOT for the passage of it NOR for the expansion of it.

But are these things true?  Matt Salmon’s client, Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals, told a different story.

“We as a company have not taken an official position on the PPACA law but we worked toward ensuring that the provisions in the new law took into account the special needs of the orphan drug populations our therapies serve.”

It seems like the company has maintained a public image of ambivalence toward the unpopular healthcare law, but it pays to maintain a membership in PhRMA — an industry group that lobbied for the law’s passage.  As for the changes to the health care law advocated for by Matt Salmon and his coworkers, what were they?

Salmon’s email also contains a statement from Mike Eging, a former employee of Lundbeck Pharmaceutical company.  His statement says:

“John was tasked to assist in changing the onerous language pertaining to Section 340B, particularly as it applied to Orphan products.  Our team was successful in reversing the changes negotiated by the hospitals and the Obama administration.  Matt Salmon did not work on our account. Michael Eging”

All right, so it’s back to the lobbying disclosure forms that Matt Salmon’s firm, Policy Impact Communications, filed.  On a form where Matt Salmon is listed as an “individual who acted as a lobbyist in this issue area”:

HR 3200 — Access to and coverage of Specialty Pharmaceuticals, Removal of patient life time caps and special tiering of copayments.

Seems pretty clear what that means:  Matt Salmon was lobbying to expand what patients are entitled to under Obamacare.  His client’s drugs are expensive specialty pharmaceuticals, and so the law originally either didn’t mandate coverage of them or limited what insurance companies had to provide patients under the law.  The point of this was to create a guaranteed market for Lundbeck’s products.  Call it crony capitalism or corporate welfare, because that’s what it is.

As a side note, Matt Salmon is not listed on the disclosure forms for all of his firm’s clients.  This isn’t just a regulatory requirement or a quirk created by the paperwork format.  He is only listed on the paperwork for the clients that he actually assisted.  This is not something that can be brushed under the rug as a matter of convenience:  Matt Salmon lobbied to expand what Obamacare covers, increasing the cost of the law for taxpayers.  Period.


Here is the real response to this gibberish.  Matt Salmon never lobbied for Obamacare, never lobbied on behalf of the two companies in question (they both opposed the law) and now the people of the Arizona 5th Congressional District have spoken and the election is over.  Matt Salmon won the race.  Now is the time for all Republicans to get behind Matt and help him go back to Washington to repeal ObamaCare.  


Gilbert Watch is a joke
Gilbert Watch is a joke

John Haddow - you claim you were the sole lobbyist for the two pharmaceutical companies.


Answer this very simple question - As owner of the company, did Matt Salmon receive any compensation, profite sharing, bonuses, etc... for the work you did with these two companies


By the way... According to http://www.upstreamdc.com/our-team/ John Haddow still works with Matt at Upstream Consulting. It would be a HUGE benefit to Haddow if Matt Salmon was a Congressman. Can you imagine the contacts they would gain and the old ones they would renew if Matt was back in Washington? Cha-Ching $$$$$.


Another Partner at the firm Michael Haener was deputy chief of staff for former Arizona Gov. and now Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.


Hmmm..... It seems Matt is still playing both sides for profit.


@GilbertWatch...My aren't you condescending. Your facts are not black and white and you are using quotes from friends of Matt as your cannon fodder. Black and white is where the truth is and you are not using any black and white in your defense of Salmon.Common sense is also a good defense but you don't seem to be using much of that either.


Let's ask a common sense question:


Is it true that Matt’s name was on the form, but only because thats what lobbying firms do, they list everyone in the firm, even if they did not lobby?


1)  No.  If this were true then you would expect to see Matt’s name on EVERY disclosure form for every client of his firm.  In fact, this is not the case as Matt’s firm listed eight different combinations of employees on disclosure forms over their 20 federal lobbying clients during that period of time.  Matt Salmon’s name is not listed on every disclosure form for their other federal clients.


2)  Federal law does not provide for including names on the disclosure form when those names did not actually lobby.  That would defeat the purpose of the law passed in 1996 and supported by Matt Salmon. Congress intended to bring transparency to lobbying, so we could see who was lobbying and for whom. Including everyone in the firm defeats the purpose of disclosure.


This information is just "out there" and not much research has to be done to find it.


And what about all of the other good reasons to NOT vote for Salmon? A TRUE conservative who does not profit from the leftist agenda would not have done the following.


Donate to Democrats who support partial birth abortion.

Raise money for about 40 different Democrats while while CEO for Comptel.

Salmon was a resident of Virginia until renting a house here in Arizona the day before filing to run for Congress in AZ.

Support green energy by funding it through legislation and personal lobbying efforts.

Support UNIONS.

Lobby's for Stimulus money from Washington for "Pet Projects".

Voted AGAINST English proficiency requirements for immigrants.


And the list could go on and on.


So Anita, just because you and your almighty blog has the gumption to call someone a liar doesn't mean it is true. You and your blog seem to be full of hate and ridicule for others and frankly it doesn't carry much clout except in certain small circles. Of course you think otherwise.


Now don't get me wrong folks, Matt is a very nice man and I have met him personally. In fact I supported him during his run for Governor here in AZ. But he can't do the things he has done over the last 10-12 years and get away with claiming he is a solid conservative and that he should be the one representing us in Washington. Based on his record I Can't trust that he will watch over my conservative interests.




Make Me
Make Me

Adams is an insurance salesman? Does that mean he represents Progressive Auto Insurance?   I hear the founder is a big marijuana fan and donated about $200,000 to make "medical" marijuana legal in Arizona.  The Progressive founder is progressive in more ways than one with his millions in donations to the ACLU and Moveon.org.   It looks like Adams' insurance also sells Mexico car insurance.  Is that why he's so soft on the border?  He can personally profit from a more open/free flowing border?  


My name is John Haddow.  I was Matt's partner while at both Policy Impact and Upstream Consulting.  I had both Lundbeck and Millennium as clients before Matt joined the firm.  As a small firm it was customary to list all the lobbyists on the forms, more as a form of protection from the very onerous reporting requirements and penalties that are now in place.  You err on the side of safety.


With respect to those two clients I was the only person in the firm that met with these two clients and had the technical background to understand the issues before them.  I have repeatedly stated that Matt Salmon did not lobby on these clients behalf and that in fact we did not support ObamaCare since it was harmful to almost all small pharmaceutical companies.  We did vigorously engage to ensure that the treatment of Orphan products in the bill was corrected to ensure that patients using these products would have continue access to them to keep their quality of life at the level they currently enjoy.


There are some clients that Matt was working for that I was listed for but in fact did no work on as well.  


The major health insurance companies all cut a deal with the Obama administration to support the bill.  They did this because the most crucial part of the bill, the mandate to buy insurance, was in their interests.  Kirk Adams and his family insurance company sells health insurance policies.  Should we now say that Kirk Adams was supporting ObamaCare since his insurance company and the companies they write policies for would benefit?  That is the leap of logic that Kirk wants you to take with Matt Salmon but ignore with him.


I have advised the Adams campaign that Matt Salmon did no work for these clients and the head of their government relations office has also stated that they retained me and not Matt Salmon.  Integrity is a key element in a member of Congress' character.  Given that Matt Salmon has always been a man that kept his word, even leaving Congress on his word, to now question that integrity in an effort to smear him and win a campaign is beneath Mr. Adams and he knows it.  Parenthetically, did not Mr. Adams commit to serve his term in the State Legislature and then abandon that commitment when he thought a higher office might be available?


I am more than willing to discuss this issue with anyone that has a question, including the Adams campaign (I have offered this to them in the past) and can be reached on my office phone at 202-684-7157.   If I am not there my assistant will connect you to me. Honesty and integrity are important in any election and now is the time to get the fact and know who is being honest and who is manipulating the facts just to win a seat in Congress.  


As long as East Valley Politics lies, I will continue pointing it out.  First sentence is a LIE.  Matt Salmon was never assigned to Takeda nor to Lundbeck.  Why?  Because he did NOT have the technical background in ORPHAN DRUGS.  Good grief.  I feel like Dr. Doolittle talking to the animals.  DO-YOU-NOT-UNDERSTAND-THE-TRUTH????  Guess not.  John Haddow was retained by Takeda and Lundbeck (2007/2009).  Most of their products have what is known as an Orphan Drug designation.  Do you understand the term ORPHAN DRUG?  It means (please pay attention..this is really tricky) they treat a population base of no more than 200,000 people.  These are drugs that treat RARE DISEASES.  These are not FREE BIRTH CONTROL PILLS.  So the hospitals wanted to get their hands on those drugs at cut rates.  Wonderful!  Takeda and Lundbeck would have no more incentive to MANUFACTURE ORPHAN DRUGS.  For people with rare forms of cancer, hemophilia, muscular dystrophy, auto immune disorders.....  SUCH SMALL SACRIFICES.   LETS REMOVE CAPS!!!   LET'S RESTRICT ACCESS!!!.  All the rest of your post is a LIE about Matt Salmon AND about what John Haddow worked to do PROTECTING his clients Takeda and Lundbeck.  According to John Haddow, "Wth respect to legislation now known as ObamaCare we discovered that the hospitals had cut a deal with the Administration to expand the program known as 340B to both the number of hospitals eligible and to include Orphan Drugs.  This would have been an unprecedented EXPANSION of this program.  Our efforts were concentrated on STOPPING THAT EXPANSION because it would have been harmful to both the client and the patient groups they serve.  The beneficiary of that expansion would have been the hospitals and their bottom lines.  Both the Administration and the hospitals fought to retain this provision, but we were successful in amending the language to retun to the status quo and NOT EXPAND the program.  I would also point out they are once again attempting to expand this program."




Matt Lobbies on Obamacare:


Upon joining PIC, Matt Salmon was assigned to most of the existing clientele including Millennium: Takeda Oncology.  Millennium paid PIC $10K a month for lobbying on a variety of issues including heath care reform.  The first reference that PIC was hired to lobby on Obamacare can be found in PIC’s 2009 second quarter lobbying disclosure report.  In the “Specific Lobbying Issues” section, the disclosure listed “The Affordable Health Choices Act”.  This is the written title for house bill number HR 3200 – which was the foundation of Obamacare. 


PIC’s lobbying disclosures continued to list their lobbying efforts on “The Affordable Health Choices Act” in each of the e following quarters.  In May of 2010, the contract between PIC and Millennium ended.   In sum, during the Obamacare debate, PIC received $120K to lobby on federal issues including Obamacare.


In June of 2009, Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals signed a new lobbying contract with PIC.  Matt Salmon was named one of the four lobbyists on the contract.  PIC was paid $10K a month to lobby on health care reform, importation and Medicare issues. 


From July of 2009 through June of 2010, according to PIC’s lobbying disclosures, they were hired by Lundbeck to lobby on Obamacare.  In the “Specific Lobbying Issues” section in each quarter, PIC listed they were hired to lobby on “HR 3200 – Access to and coverage of Specialty Pharmaceuticals, Removal of patient life caps and special tiering of copayments.” 


In June of 2010, the contract between PIC and Lundbeck ended.   In sum, during the Obamacare debate, PIC received $120K to lobby on federal issues including Obamacare.


Upon completion of their contracts with PIC, both Millennium and Lundbeck signed new contracts with Matt Salmon’s firm Upstream Consulting.   Each firm continued to pay $10k a month to have Upstream consulting on health care issues and specifically, “issues related to the implementation of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act,” – also known as HR 3590 or Obamacare.  Both Millennium and Lundbeck remain clients of Upstream to this day. 


GilbertWatch...The fact of the matter is Matt made money as the Executive Vice President of PIC and as a sole managing partner for Upstream Consulting. Either way he profited from Lobbying to expand ObamaCare. Your excuses are simply that, EXCUSES.


Point #3:  Matt Salmon's name appears on the disclosure forms.  Yep.  That's correct.  ALL of his business partners' names appear on ALL of the disclosure forms.....whether they lobbied ON some provision (not FOR) that particular item or not.  There are several issues with this:  First, both PIC and Upstream are considered small, boutique lobbying firms.  Their attorney, as a matter of disclosure, recommended that ALL of the principals' names be listed.  A careful observer will notice that John Haddow's name appears as the CONTACT on all items relating to health care. His name is listed FIRST on any of the health care related issues.  That's because he is the only subject matter expert on issues relating to health care. 

To contrast, Matt Salmon's name is listed as the CONTACT, and his name appears first on the list of names, for Surefire, LLC.  He did in fact lobby on behalf of this company.  Surefire manufactures body armor for U.S. soldiers fighting in the Mideast.


It does not pass the COMMON SENSE test that ALL of the firm's lobbyists are ALL subject matter experts in ALL areas.  No more so than all attorneys in a law practice are subject matter experts in all areas.  And no more so than all Gilbert Council Members are subject matter experts in all areas. 


Point #2:  So, because Lundbeck and Takeda belong to PHRMa, this means those relatively small pharmaceutical companies support everything that PHRMa supports?  Is that your premise?  Belong to an association, all association members are in  lockstep in support of whatever they support?  Please note that in Point #1, which I addressed, Mike Eging who was the head of the Washington office of Lundbeck stated they did NOT support ObamaCare.  As a matter of survival, they removed onerous provisions that would have KILLED them, should ObamaCare become the law of the land.Well, Kirk Adams is a member of an association,  the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers PAC (IIAB PAC).  Not only that, but  in December 2008 and again in September of 2009, he donated to this organization . The IIAB PAC donated to ObamaCare supporters like Barney Frank, Kirsten Gillibrand, Luis Guttierez, Steny Hoyer, Chuck Schumer and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. 







So, according to your logic, Kirk Adams supports ALL of these Leftists, including their ABORTION RIGHTS agenda? 


Let's take this point by point.  Point #1.  The email in its entirety from Mike Eging stated that they did in fact reject ObamaCare.  However, their survival was at stake.  What if ObamaCare becomes law?  They had better defend themselves.  See the full email below:

From: Mile Eging <mleging@msn.com> Date: Saturday, August 18, 2012 5:00 PM To: John M Haddow <jhaddow@upstreamdc.com> Subject: Consulting Work


I was the head of the Washington office from 2009-2012 for Lundbeck Pharmaceutical company, which retained Policy Impact Communications and later Upstream Consulting in Washington, DC.  John Haddow was our consultant from this firm. His background in health care while serving as a staff member of the key health committee was the driving force in our retaining him.  Our first goal was to allow the health reform bill to fail but absent that we had to make a critical change.  John was tasked to assist in changing the onerous language pertaining to Section 340B, particularly as it applied to Orphan products.  Our team was successful in reversing the changes negotiated by the hospitals and the Obama administration.  


Matt Salmon did not work on our account. Michael Eging


I will address you next points in a subsequent comment.

Anita Christy