Jennifer Bell, co-founder of Chamber Hill Strategies, has a proven track record of success in Washington. Given her extensive experience and her deep business knowledge, she has worked effectively with companies, coalitions and associations to create policy solutions and legislative opportunities, respond to investigations, and mitigate the effects of harmful legislation and regulations.
Jennifer has over 15 years of experience working on and around Capitol Hill. Her public sector work included serving as majority policy advisor for the Senate Finance Committee for then-Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) and working for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) under then-Chairman Jim Jeffords (I-VT). She also advised Sen. John Thune (R-SD), first as a legislative assistant in the House of Representatives and as his Senate campaign policy director. Prior to founding Chamber Hill Strategies, Jennifer led numerous client strategies at two prominent law and lobbying firms and launched her own successful policy and advocacy consulting firm Jennifer Bell + Partners.
In addition to her focus on the health and tax-writing committees, Jennifer works regularly with political appointees and civil servants at the agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Departments of Labor, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs. She also assists clients with matters before the Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accountability Office, and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
A licensed speech-language pathologist, Jennifer received an M.S. in Communication Disorders from the University of New Hampshire, and a B.A. in French from Wheaton College.
In the News
Medspace: Hospitalists on Healthcare: ‘Politicians Can’t Fix This’
May 5, 2017
By Marcia Frellick
The AHCA bill, in its current form, won’t become law, said Jennifer Bell, co-founder 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.”
November 14, 2016
By Isaac Arnsdorf
Led by Laura Holland Kemper, former aide to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) and House Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), Chamber Hill Strategies will be working on Medicare Part B payment issues for the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care and over-the-counter hearing aids for ICOT Health Systems. “With Obamacare repeal and replace on the table, organizations are looking for Republican muscle,” co-founder Jennifer Bell said. “It’s going to be a wild year.”
Top Lobbyists 2016: Hired Guns
October 26, 2016
Michaela Sims and Jennifer Bell, Chamber Hill Strategies
Sims and Bell took a risk to found their own firm and now are reaping the benefits of what is rapidly becoming one of the most successful healthcare-focused shops on K Street.