HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who obviously wields enormous power of the nation’s health care industry, has been aggressively seeking donations from the industry to fund a private non-profit, Enroll America. The non-profit is led by veterans of the Obama White House and campaigns and has appointed itself a leading role in implementing ObamaCare. In response, House GOP members have launched a wide probe into the questionable solicitations.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) suggested Friday that Sebelius’s solicitation of donations from the health care industry raised a conflict of interest. He wrote “HHS regulation of the health insurance industry will only grow under [healthcare reform], including by approving health insurers to participate in the exchanges.”
Under ObamaCare, the federal government will have even greater regulatory control over health insurers and health care providers. The rules promulgated by HHS will have very real consequences on their business. A request from Sebelius to donate to a private non-profit does not exist in a vacuum. Some unknown amount of consideration would have to be paid to the ramifications of not donating.
Enroll America has promised a “campaign-like” approach to promoting ObamaCare. Administration officials have said the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a leading funder of left-wing causes, has committed $10 million to the effort. Tax preparer H&R Block has pledged $500,000, according to Obama officials.
Upton and some of his colleagues sent letters to a host of leading insurers, asking for all communications regarding the fundraising by Sebelius. Most have been asked to provide a response by Monday.