Sebelius Pressured Major Corporations to Support Obamacare; the Defining Moment for Climate Change Has Come and Gone, Again

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 22, 2014 | Go to article overview

Sebelius Pressured Major Corporations to Support Obamacare; the Defining Moment for Climate Change Has Come and Gone, Again


Byline: Phillip Swarts, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius lobbied several private companies to support Obamacare while the program was having difficulty getting people to sign up, a new investigative report found, showing the lengths to which the administration has gone in support of the president's signature health care law.

Mrs. Sebelius personally spoke with the leaders of five major health care and financial firms to get them to support Enroll America -- a nonprofit organization trying to get uninsured Americans to sign up for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), according to records reviewed by the Government Accountability Office, Congress' watchdog arm.

The outreach effort had been known previously, but the GAO report was the most detailed to date on the administration's efforts to enlist support in the health law's uncertain early days.

"The Secretary of HHS contacted the Chief Executive Officers of five organizations to solicit support for one outside entity, Enroll America, involved in activities related to PPACA," the GAO said in a report released Monday.

Investigators said Mrs. Sebelius contacted leaders at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and H&R Block, hoping to secure financial support for the nonprofit group, as well as calling the heads of medical giants Ascension Health, Johnson & Johnson and the Kaiser foundations for non-financial help and advice.

"The self-proclaimed 'most transparent administration in history' has been anything but transparent in implementing the president's health care law," said Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan Republican and one of the five lawmakers who requested the GAO investigate the matter.

The administration has continuously tried "to keep the public in the dark" on how it operates, Mr. …

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