Even for a big-business-craven administration, this is really bad...
The federal official who runs Medicare and was intimately involved in drafting legislation to overhaul the program is the object of a bidding war among five firms hoping to hire him to advise clients affected by the measure.
....In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Scully said that his discussions with potential employers complied with federal ethics regulations and that he had seen no reason to recuse himself from work on the legislation.
... summary of ethics rules issued by the Department of Health and Human Services says employees who have begun seeking jobs in the private sector must immediately recuse themselves from "any official matter" that involves the prospective employer. This covers legislative initiatives and proposed rules, the document says.
...As administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mr. Scully receives a salary of $134,000 a year. Lawyers and lobbyists said he could easily earn five times that in the private sector because he has extensive knowledge of the Medicare program and can offer clients access to senior administration officials.
In his last job, as president of the Federation of American Hospitals, a trade group for investor-owned hospitals, Mr. Scully made $675,000 a year.
"Hey Tom, buddy, take a cee-gar, have a seat. OK, but this weency provision in the legislation, good bud, and we'll add a cool $250k to the signing bonus. Waddya think?"