ObamaCare architect joins behavioral health group

The trade group for “specialty behavioral health and wellness companies,” such as those that help treat substance abuse, mental illness and other behavioral health issues, says it wants to “expand its legislative and regulatory outreach efforts.”

Watching the roll out of recent expansions to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, Klein told The Hill she looks forward to “implementing [the Affordable Care Act] from a different perspective.”

While the organization has been involved with advocacy campaigns before, they have never reported any federal lobbying efforts – including hiring outside firms.

“I’m really interested in parity,” she said, “and how care and treatment for both physical medical health and behavior health are handled.”

Before working in Nelson’s office as a legislative assistant, she was the deputy communications director and director of chapter operations for the National Jewish Democratic Council.

The National Jewish Democratic Counsel was more focused on advocacy, she said, and transitioning to the Hill gave her a taste of the policy side of Washington. Now, Klein says she looks forward to combining those two roles in this position.

“I am excited to be part of the team working to ensure that behavioral health organizations continue to be well-positioned to provide quality care to the millions of Americans who need it,” she said in a release.

She begins her new job next Thursday, Aug. 1.

Nelson retired from Congress in January and became the chief executive of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners soon after.

This post was updated on July 26. It had previously said Klein was the communications director for the National Jewish Democratic Council. It has been corrected to deputy communications director.