Republicans Threaten To Subpoena HHS Over $23M Health Law PR Campaign
House Ways and Means Committee members are seeking details on efforts to promote programs in the 2010 health law.
The Hill: GOP Threatens Subpoenas In Probe Of Obama Health Care Law PR Campaigns
House Republicans on Wednesday threatened to subpoena the Obama administration over public-relations contracts to promote President Obama's health care law. It's the third health care-related subpoena threat in two weeks. This one came from Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee, who said they haven't received a response to their inquiries about public-relations contracts. The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) has signed at least 2 PR contracts to promote the president's landmark Affordable Care Act. HHS signed a $20-million deal to raise awareness of new coverage for preventive services, and a separate $3-million contract is focused on the federally run insurance exchange, which will begin operating in 2014 (Baker, 10/24).
Politico: Ways And Means Threatens Subpoena Over 'Obamacare' PR
Another House committee chairman is threatening to subpoena HHS -- this time over the agency's efforts to promote "Obamacare." House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), along with oversight subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany (R-La.), leveled the threat Wednesday after what Camp said were 20 weeks of fruitless requests about HHS's marketing activities (Cheney, 10/24).
Modern Healthcare: GOP Lawmakers Air Subpoena Threat Over Details On Reform PR Push
In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), a physician who serves as chairman of the panel's oversight subcommittee, wrote that HHS has spent "millions of taxpayer dollars to promote the administration's policies." The lawmakers also said reports suggest the administration used public funds to push the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on prime-time television shows. HHS learned of the committee's concerns about using public monies for this purpose as far back as May, when Boustany sent a letter requesting information on the use of taxpayer money in contracts for public relations, advertisements, polling and message testing (Zigmond, 10/24).