Chamber Hill Strategies of the District appointed Melissa Bartlett principal.
POLITICO Influence | July 25, 2017
Chamber Hill Strategies is bringing on Melissa Bartlett as a principal. She was previously associate vice president for government relations at Sanofi.
By Marcia Frellick
The AHCA bill, in its current form, won’t become law, said Jennifer Bell, founding partner of Chamber Hill Strategies in Washington, DC, and lobbyist on the Hill for the Society of Hospital Medicine.
“I’m a longtime Republican, I’m a Republican lobbyist, so what you’re hearing from me is stark reality,” she said. “This bill is going nowhere. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has already said he will not bring this bill to a vote.”
Her personal affiliation does not affect her lobbying for the society, she emphasized, which is nonpartisan.
Hospitalists are very concerned about the aspects of the bill that will likely reduce insurance coverage, particularly the ban on further Medicaid expansion, because fewer patients will seek the care they need, Bell told Medscape Medical News.
“The American Health Care Act is about repealing Medicaid expansion more than anything else,” she pointed out. But the bill goes beyond expansion to promote Medicaid reform, and many senators are not convinced this is the time to do that, she added.
Far more children are covered by Medicaid than by the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), “so changes at the state level to Medicaid are quite serious,” she explained.
The Hill: Healthcare Groups Unload on GOP Bill | March 9, 2017
By Megan R. Wilson
But the lobbying right now is primarily focused on the House, said Jennifer Bell, the co-founder of Chamber Hill Strategies, who has worked for Republicans on both health and tax-writing committees.
“The next two weeks or three weeks is make or break. If it passes the House, how it passes can be very indicative of what a strategy might be in the Senate,” she said.
The Wheaton Record: Inside D.C.: Alumni Perspectives | January 26, 2017
By Sarah Holcomb
When she arrived in D.C., Jennifer Bell ‘93 was a 29-year-old speech pathologist — an outsider. Her class schedule, like Noetzel’s, never included a political science course. Her major: French.
Moving to Washington with her husband, a fellow Wheaton grad, Bell found a part-time job at a local hospital and decided to intern at Congress at the same time. That decision launched her 15-year journey through the world of public policy, which would reinvent her career, eventually leading her to co-found her own healthcare-focused lobbying firm.
As she ushered us through her home into an airy room decorated with white linen, the house seemed to stand worlds away from the buzzing streets of downtown Washington. Yet Capitol Hill is a better reflection of Bell’s mission than the quiet, wooded hill where her house sits. Bell loves the way that Washington is “concentrated” with ambitious people — go-getters gathered from around the country and the world.
Washington D.C. is a company town, Bell said — only the “company” is the federal government.
Bell’s lack of experience and “preconceived ideas” about policy making allowed her to stand out in the world of Washington, which focused on ideology. Unlike many of her colleagues developing healthcare legislation, Bell possessed a rare perspective: that of a “real person that had a real job.”
“I understand the practical implications of some of the laws we were trying to change,” she told us. That knowledge helps her to address the various needs of her clients, who include organizations like hospitals, associations of doctors and companies or CEOs.
Today, as a professional who works on behalf of clientele largely outside of the political hub, it isn’t surprising that Bell supports “outsiders” who seek to renovate Washington. It’s one reason why she supported President Trump early in the primary season when most of her colleagues did not.
“I live here and work here, but I love disruption,” she said. “I think this is a town that’s too static in its patterns.” Bell noted that her perspective reflects that of her home state, Vermont, whose suspicious and self-reliant attitude caused it to refuse to join the 13 colonies until later when it became the 14th state. “I kind of like the idea that there will be this dynamite thrown in there,” she said of the new administration.
Nevertheless, it’s “good to have a mix” of experienced politicians and newcomers, Bell added. “There’s a lot of expertise in Washington that kind of stays here.”
Learning and practicing integrity is critical in D.C., Bell said. “You can build it over time and destroy it really fast.” She stressed the need for Christians in Washington to exercise honesty and consideration. “You can have strong opinions, but do your research and take someone else’s perspective,” she said. “Try to understand what they think and build relationships.”
The Wheaton Record: Obamacare Repeal and Replacement, Explained | January 24, 2017
By Kelsey Plankeel
Price transparency would mandate that healthcare providers — such as physicians and clinics — display prices for services. Presumably, if consumers know how expensive a procedure or service is, and have to pay for that service out of their own pocket, then they may choose a less expensive option. This would mirror the ACA’s requirement that certain restaurants post calorie counts next to menu items. Jennifer Bell, a healthcare lobbyist in the D.C. area, said she is unsure as to whether Americans will “ever get to the point where cheaper feels better overall.” She said that while cheaper options are adequate, if a loved one gets ill, family members often opt for a more expensive option, which is often perceived as higher quality.
This could take years, according to Bell. Additionally, insurance companies — who are at the frontline of implementing new healthcare rules — need at least 18 months to receive final rules, develop and approve bids and offer the plans to consumers. With no current replacement plan in motion, it could be at least two years before a new healthcare system is activated. The long-term process of healthcare implementation is exemplified by Obamacare, for which full implementation will not be completed until 2022.
According to Bell, one difference between Democrats and Republicans in healthcare policy making is that “Democrats tend to want to dictate very specifically what should happen; they don’t want to leave any room for chance. Republicans are more into flexibility and optionality as long as you meet certain standards.” She noted that this — the strict interpretation of law — was a factor in the Wheaton College v. Burwell case in 2015.
Top Lobbyists 2016: Hired Guns | October 26, 2016
Jennifer Bell, Chamber Hill Strategies
Reaping the benefits of what is rapidly becoming one of the most successful healthcare-focused shops on K Street.
The Hill: Women Take Power as Lobbyists | April 29, 2015
On the presence of “thriving lobby shops with women at the helm” – “Others, including Kountoupes | Denham, Heather Podesta + Partners, Chamber Hill Strategies, Nathanson+Hauck and TwinLogic Strategies have also built impressive client rosters.”
POLITICO Influence | January 8, 2015
By Tarini Parti
CHAMBER HILL SIGNS THREE: Chamber Hill Strategies has signed three new clients: National Academy of Elder Attorneys, an association of lawyers who assist seniors and those with disabilities in long-term care planning; WellCare, a publicly traded Tampa-based health insurer; and the National Association of Community Health Centers, the association that advocates for the over 1,000 community health centers across country. Jennifer Bell, co-founder and partner of the firm, said Chamber Hill Strategies was seeking an uptick in interest as “clients are hopeful for a renewed dialogue on health care issues beyond the Affordable Care Act.”
THE HILL Bottom Line | September 22, 2014
By The Hill Staff
HEALTHCARE. Boutique lobbying firm Chamber Hill Strategies is helping nonprofit healthcare organization BJC Healthcare beef up its Washington presence. Lobbying forms note that the firm will be working on a slew of Medicare issues, including payment policies and “Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI)-related initiatives.” There is a bipartisan team of lobbyists working on the account, including the former health policy advisor to Senate Finance Committee Republicans, Jennifer Bell.