Donations please: Sebelius jawbones health care execs

by Walter Olson on May 15, 2013

“Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has gone, hat in hand, to health industry officials, asking them to make large financial donations to help with the effort to implement President Obama’s landmark health-care law, two people familiar with the outreach said.” Congress had earlier turned down a White House funding request for the project, which among other objectives seeks to promote — sorry, “increase awareness of” — the new Affordable Care Act (ACA). Federal law sharply restricts cabinet members’ freedom to fundraise for non-profits while in office, but HHS spokesman Jason Young cited “a special section in the Public Health Service Act [which] allows the secretary to support and encourage others to support nonprofit groups working to provide health information and conduct other public-health activities.” In 2010 the Secretary, who holds wide discretionary power to make life unpleasant for health insurance companies, vowed strict measures against insurers that were undermining the ACA’s popularity by saying they were expecting the law to raise rates. [Sarah Kliff, Washington Post; Michael Cannon, Cato, and follow-up]

{ 1 comment }

1 C Hill 05.15.13 at 6:20 pm

“Congress had earlier turned down a White House funding request for the project….” And, that should have been the end of it. If circumventing Congress to raise funds was wrong for Oliver North, why not for Kathleen Sebelius?

Except for supplying talk shows with a steady and reliable stream of guests, and servicing select clientel (Wall Street, unions, etc.), what’s the point of Congress anymore? The Executive branch and armies of bureaucrats run this country. Congress has allowed itself to be reduced to little more than an ineffective, incompetent, and not very entertaining…but very expensive…debate club.

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