Healthcare News June 28, 2013

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: GOP doubles down on Sebelius fundraising calls

    Republican senators are pushing Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to reveal more about her ties to Enroll America and her fundraising efforts on behalf of the pro-ObamaCare group. In a letter Thursday, 28 GOP senators demanded that Sebelius send a more complete response to a May inquiry about her requests that health industry players donate money to Enroll America. The Health Department says Sebelius only made two phone calls and that the actions were legal.

    The letter highlights the GOP’s ongoing opposition to Enroll America, particularly as the group prepares massive public relations campaigns for the next six months. Republicans see the nonprofit as an arm of the Obama administration that helps the HHS ignore congressionally mandated limits on federal healthcare spending. Many of the group’s leaders are former Obama campaign or White House officials, adding to the GOP’s suspicion. 

    On Thursday, Republicans challenged the department’s defense that similar fundraising calls were made by the George W. Bush administration during the rollout of Medicare Part D and the Clinton administration during the launch of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

    “HHS did engage in broad public outreach efforts and in some cases worked with the private sector to support these programs,” the lawmakers wrote. “However, we can find no evidence that an HHS Secretary ever solicited money or services for any specific third-party organization, particularly one run by a former White House aide as a ‘Plan B’ when appropriated funds were denied to HHS by Congress.”

  • Republicans blast Sebelius, demand ObamaCare fundraising docs

    Republican lawmakers are demanding that Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary fulfill a request for documents about her fundraising efforts on behalf of Enroll America.

    In a letter to Sebelius, 28 GOP senators expressed suspicions about Enroll America, which was created to promote ObamaCare, and its ties to the administration.

    Republicans on the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees first launched their inquiry with letters to Sebelius in May.

  • DOMA ruling could limit ObamaCare eligibility

    Some same-sex couples might lose their eligibility for new tax credits under President Obama’s healthcare law as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

    The court on Wednesday struck down a part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that prohibited same-sex couples from collecting federal benefits available to married couples.

    Expanding same-sex couples’ overall access to federal benefits, though, could mean that some couples lose their eligiblity for ObamaCare’s tax credits.

  • Republican lawmaker to NFL and NBA: Don’t do ObamaCare’s ‘dirty work’

    HHS Secretary Sebelius is negotiating with sports affiliates about paid
    advertising and efforts to encourage enrollment under ObamaCare.

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