The literature makes clear that the revolving door process is a source of valuable political connections for private firms. But it generates corruption risks and has strong distortionary effects on the economy, especially when this power is concentrated within a few firms.
We have discussed Dr Insel's approach to conflicts of interest before. Note that Dr Bernard Carroll, posting on this blog, has written extensively about Dr Insel's apparently rather lax approach to conflict of interest issues while he was at NIH raised by the case of Dr Charles Nemeroff. Look here, here, here, and here. Recapping these, I noted that Dr Insel later confessed that his statements about these issues "may be viewed as misleading."
Nonetheless, as far as I can tell, no one else so far has used the term conflict of interest in discussing Dr Insel's new job. The anechoic effect continues.
The continuing egregiousness of the revolving door in health care shows how health care leadership can play mutually beneficial games, regardless of the their effects on patients' and the public's health. Once again, true health care reform would cut the ties between government and corporate leaders that have lead to government of, for and by corporate executives rather than the people at large