Members Examine Reports that Sebelius Requested Health Care Execs Donate to Organization that Supports Implementation of Obamacare
WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today continued their examination into reports that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius may have solicited funding or assistance from the health care industry to help implement the health care law. According to The New York Times, an HHS spokesperson said Secretary Sebelius suggested health care executives and others to support the work of Enroll America, a private nonprofit group dedicated to assisting the implementation of the health care law.
In a letter to Enroll America, Chairman Fred Upton, Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton, Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn, Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts, Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy, and Vice Chairman of the Health and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees Michael C. Burgess, M.D. wrote, “It is our understanding that Enroll America, a 501(c)(3) organization, announced its formation in September 2011 with the purpose of ensuring ‘that all Americans are enrolled in and retain health coverage.’ As many of the individuals and companies on Enroll America’s Board of Directors and Advisory Council are part of the health care industry, and will be subject to HHS regulation pursuant to PPACA, we have questions about HHS’ involvement in the work of Enroll America as it relates to the implementation of the PPACA.”
The members requested Enroll America provide details by May 27, 2013, on conversations with HHS related to funding, donations or other assistance, documents related to those conversations, and information regarding the organization’s 501(c)(3) status.
Chairman Fred Upton, along with Senator Lamar Alexander, Senator Orrin Hatch, Rep. Dave Camp, and Rep. Jack Kingston, also called on the Government Accountability Office to conduct an investigation. In a letter to GAO, the members wrote, “The secretary’s actions show an apparent disregard for constitutional principles and may violate the Antideficiency Act, the prohibition against augmenting congressional appropriations, and executive branch ethics laws.”